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To prevent inbreeding, flowering plants have evolved multiple genes, research reveals
Date:11/4/2010

ence of co-evolution, which was surprising as the male and female genes directly involved in controlling self/non-self recognition during sexual reproduction are expected to have co-evolved." Kao said. "In fact, Type-1 SLF has a much shorter evolutionary history than S-RNase." Meanwhile, Kao and his team noticed that "Type-1 SLF had a much lower allelic sequence diversity when compared to S-RNase, raising a question as to how, with limited allelic diversity, the allelic variants of Type-1 SLF proteins can recognize a large repertoire of 40 or more highly divergent S-RNase proteins," he said. "We were puzzled by how the Type-1 SLF gene seemed to have such a young evolutionary history, and how the allelic variants of Type-1 SLF protein seemed to have such a low sequence diversity. We knew that the male and female genetic counterparts had to have kept up with each other throughout evolution -- they had to have co-evolved -- so that meant there had to be older and more numerous SLF genes controlling the male side of the equation."

NEW DISCOVERIES

Now, in the soon-to-be-published Science paper, the team will announce its identification of five additional types of SLF genes -- named Type-2 to Type-6 SLF genes -- found in the same chromosomal region as the Type-1 SLF gene. Kao and his colleagues found that while the Type-1 SLF gene certainly played an important role in preventing inbreeding, Type-2 and Type-3, and most likely additional types of SLF genes, also controlled self-incompatibility. "Each Type-1 SLF protein can recognize only a limited number of non-self S-RNase components," Kao said. "Meanwhile, each of the additional types of SLF proteins we've found can recognize different sets of non-self S-RNase proteins, and all of them collectively account for the entire suite of non-self identification. This recent finding has solved the puzzle about the co-evolution between the male and female genes, and how a single type of SLF protein has th
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Contact: Barbara Kennedy
science@psu.edu
814-863-4682
Penn State
Source:Eurekalert  

Page: 1 2 3 4

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To prevent inbreeding, flowering plants have evolved multiple genes, research reveals
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