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Molecular genetics and physiology of self incompatibility in brassica crops

Objective

Characterization of the molecular and physiological events comprising the self incompatibility mechanism operating in the breeding system of Brassica oleracea.
The project consortium of laboratories is investigating the system by which Brassica prevents inbreeding. Progress is being made in the search for the male factor, the structure of the gene controlling the process, and the development of probes to identify plant lines with different specificity.

The study has the following initial objectives:
identification and characterization of the male component of the S-locus;
biochemistry and physiology of the self incompatibility (SI) response;
organization and expression of the S locus, relationships between S alleles;
transfer of S alleles to new lines.

Highlights of the work to data include:
the demonstration of transcripts homologous to the SLG gene in another tissues;
a working packaging system for large deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) quantities;
the effect of the interaction of pollen coat fractions with stigmatic molecules on male and female cells;
the identification of physiological response in pollen and stigma;
synthesized polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers for investigating SRK genes;
the characterization of promoter regions;
establishment of SLG complementary deoxyribonucleic acid (cDNA) clones from self compatibles;
development of promising probes for SLG identification;
potential SLG cDNAs from sugar boet.
The mechanism by which Brassica plants recognise and reject their own pollen is of scientific and commercial importance. The self incompatibility (SI) response occurs on the dry surface of the female stigma and, as such, has proved difficult to study using conventional molecular technology.

Using a multidisciplinary approach, aspects of the structure, physiology and molecular biology of SI are under investigation in ten institutional and commercial laboratories throughout Europe. Individual Target Themes are addressed by smaller groups of participants, each coordinated by a managing contractor. Structure and physiology are being studied in Oxford (UK), Lyon (F), Danisco (DK) while a group at Nijmegen (NL) are examining the system in vitro. The molecular studies are concentrated in Norwich (UK), Birmingham (UK), Lyon (F) and Durham (UK), with HRI (UK) focusing on the generation of S-allele probes. The industrial participants, Nickerson-Zwaan (NL), Zaadunie (NL) and Royal Sluis (NL) collaborate actively in the programme, provide a valuable commercial perspective, and supply essential technical support, especially in the area of field trials.

The project is coordinated from Oxford, and is integrated, as far as is possible, with a parallel programme on SI in Solanum coordinated from Cologne. A joint meeting is held yearly, but individual subgroups meet more frequently. A regular newsletter SINEWS provides a useful channel of communication between participants, in addition to fax and E-mail.

Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
Address
South Parks Road
OX1 3RB Oxford
United Kingdom

Participants (6)

DANISCO A/S
Denmark
Address
1,Langebrogade 1
1001 Koebenhavn K/copenhaegen
Horticulture Research International
United Kingdom
Address
Wellesbourne
CV35 9EF Warwick
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
France
Address
43 Boulevard Du 11 Novembre 1918
69622 Villeurbanne
JOHN INNES CENTRE
United Kingdom
Address
Norwich Research Park, Colney
Norwich
Nickerson-Zwaan BV
Netherlands
Address

2990 Barendrecht
SG Seeds BV
Netherlands
Address
62,Westeinde
1600 AA Enkhuizen