Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 250, Issue 5, pp 547–557 | Cite as

Self-incompatibility (S) alleles of the rosaceae encode members of a distinct class of the T2/S ribonuclease superfamily

  • Hidenori Sassa
  • Takeshi Nishio
  • Yasuo Kowyama
  • Hisashi Hirano
  • Takato Koba
  • Hiroshi Ikehashi
Original Paper


Stylar riboncleases (RNases) are associated with gametophytic self-incompatibility in two plant families, the Solanaceae and the Rosaceae. The self-incompatibility-associated RNases (S-RNases) of both the Solanaceae and the Rosaceae were recently reported to belong to the T2 RNase gene family, based on the presence of two well-conserved sequence motifs. Here, the cloning and characterization of S-RNase genes from two species of Rosaceae, apple (Malus × domestica) and Japanese pear (Pyrus serotina) is described and these sequences are compared with those of other T2-type RNases. The S-RNases of apple specifically accumulated in styles following maturation of the flower bud. Two cDNA clones for S-RNases from apple, and PCR clones encoding a further two apple S-RNases as well as two Japanese pear S-RNases were isolated and sequenced. The deduced amino acid sequences of the rosaceous S-RNases contained two conserved regions characteristic of the T2/S-type RNases. The sequences showed a high degree of diversity, with similarities ranging from 60.4% to 69.2%. Interestingly, some interspecific sequence similarities were higher than those within a species, possibly indicating that diversification of S-RNase alleles predated speciation in the Rosaceae. A phylogenetic tree of members of the T2/S-RNase superfamily in plants was obtained. The rosaceous S-RNases formed a new lineage in the tree that was distinct from those of the solanaceous S-RNases and the S-like RNases. The findings suggested that self-incompatibility mechanisms in Rosaceae and Solanaceae are similar but arose independently in the course of evolution.

Key words

Self-incompatibility Rosaceae Ribonuclease Style Gene genealogy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hidenori Sassa
    • 1
  • Takeshi Nishio
    • 2
  • Yasuo Kowyama
    • 3
  • Hisashi Hirano
    • 4
  • Takato Koba
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Ikehashi
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of HorticultureChiba UniversityMatsudo, ChibaJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Radiation Breeding, NIAR, MAFFIbarakiJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of BioresourcesMie UniversityTsu, MieJapan
  4. 4.Department of Molecular BiologyNational Institute of Agrobiological ResourcesIbarakiJapan

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