Sexual Plant Reproduction

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 165–177 | Cite as

Structural and transcriptional analysis of S-locus F-box genes in Antirrhinum

  • Junli Zhou
  • Fei Wang
  • Wenshi Ma
  • Yansheng Zhang
  • Bin Han
  • Yongbiao Xue
Original Article


A class of ribonucleases termed S-RNases, which control the pistil expression of self-incompatibility, represents the only known functional products encoded by the S locus in species from the Solanaceae, Scrophulariaceae and Rosaceae. Previously, we identified a pollen-specific F-box gene, AhSLF (S locus F-box)-S 2, very similar to S 2 -RNase in Antirrhinum, a member of the Scrophulariaceae. In addition, AhSLF-S 2 also detected the presence of its homologous DNA fragments. To identify these fragments, we constructed two genomic DNA libraries from Antirrhinum self-incompatible lines carrying alleles S 1 S 5 and S 2 S 4, respectively, using a transformation-competent artificial chromosome (TAC) vector. With AhSLF-S 2-specific primers, TAC clones containing both AhSLF-S 2 and its homologs were subsequently identified (S 2 TAC, S 5 TACa, S 4 TAC, and S 1 TACa). DNA blot hybridization, sequencing and segregation analyses revealed that they are organized as single allelic copies (AhSLF-S 2, -S 1, -S 4 and -S 5) tightly linked to the S-RNases. Furthermore, clusters of F-box genes similar to AhSLF-S 2 were identified. In total, three F-box genes (AhSLF-S 2, -S 2 A and -S 2 C) in S 2 TAC (51 kb), three (AhSLF-S 4, -S 4 A and -S 4 D) in S 4 TAC (75 kb), two (AhSLF-S 5 and -S 5 A) in S 5 TACa (55 kb), and two (AhSLF-S 1 and -S 1 E) in S 1 TACa (71 kb), respectively, were identified. Paralogous copies of these genes show 38–54% identity, with allelic copies sharing 90% amino acid identity. Among these genes, three (AhSLF-S 2 C, -S 4 D and -S 1 E) were specifically expressed in pollen, similar to AhSLF-S 2, implying that they likely play important roles in pollen, whereas three AhSLF-SA alleles showed no detectable expression. In addition, several types of retroelements and transposons were identified in the sequenced regions, revealing some detailed information on the structural diversity of the S locus region. Taken together, these results indicate that both single allelic and tandemly duplicated genes are associated with the S locus in Antirrhinum. The implications of these findings in evolution and possible roles of allelic AhSLF-S genes in the self-incompatible reaction are discussed in species like Antirrhinum.


Self-incompatibility Evolution S locus Antirrhinum F-box 



We are grateful to E.S. Coen and R. Carpenter for providing Antirrhinum plants and constant support and Y. Liu for help in constructing TAC library. We also thank J. Huang, H. Qiao and H. Wang and, in particular, an anonymous reviewer for their helpful comments on the manuscript. The work was supported by the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (39825103).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Junli Zhou
    • 1
  • Fei Wang
    • 1
  • Wenshi Ma
    • 1
    • 3
  • Yansheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Bin Han
    • 2
  • Yongbiao Xue
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Genetics and Developmental BiologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijing China
  2. 2.National Center for Gene Research, Shanghai Institutes for Biological SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesShanghai China
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesHebei Normal UniversityShijiazhuangChina

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