High-resolution mapping of the S-locus in Turnera leads to the discovery of three genes tightly associated with the S-alleles

  • Jonathan J. D. Labonne
  • Alina Goultiaeva
  • Joel S. Shore
Original Paper


While the breeding system known as distyly has been used as a model system in genetics, and evolutionary biology for over a century, the genes determining this system remain unknown. To positionally clone genes determining distyly, a high-resolution map of the S-locus region of Turnera has been constructed using segregation data from 2,013 backcross progeny. We discovered three putative genes tightly linked with the S-locus. An N-acetyltransferase (TkNACE) flanks the S-locus at 0.35 cM while a sulfotransferase (TkST1) and a non-LTR retroelement (TsRETRO) show complete linkage to the S-locus. An assay of population samples of six species revealed that TsRETRO, initially discovered in diploid Turnera subulata, is also associated with the S-allele in tetraploid T. subulata and diploid Turnera scabra. The sulfotransferase gene shows some level of differential expression in long versus short styles, indicating it might be involved in some aspect of distyly. The complete linkage of TkST1 and TsRETRO to the S-locus suggests that both genes may reside within, or in the immediate vicinity of the S-locus. Chromosome walking has been initiated using one of the genes discovered in the present study to identify the genes determining distyly.


S-locus Heterostyly Positional cloning Distyly High-resolution mapping 



We would like to thank Dr. Stephen Wright and Dr. Arthur Hilliker for advice, Ruth Haile-Meskale, Jessica Tavone and Mohammad Mokhtari for technical assistance, and Paul Chafe for providing the Piriqueta samples. We also thank Lee Wong of the Molecular Core Facility at York University for sequencing of samples. This work was funded by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grant to J.S. Shore.

Supplementary material

438_2009_439_MOESM1_ESM.doc (28 kb)
Supplementary material S1 (DOC 28 kb)
438_2009_439_MOESM2_ESM.doc (34 kb)
Supplementary material S2 (DOC 34 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jonathan J. D. Labonne
    • 1
  • Alina Goultiaeva
    • 1
  • Joel S. Shore
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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