Letter | Published:

Breakdown of Self-Incompatibility by a-Naphthalene Acetamide

Nature volume 149, page 610 (30 May 1942) | Download Citation



SELF-incompatible Petunia, Tagetes, Trifolium repens and Brassica oleracea have been made self-compatible by spraying the flowering plants with a solution of a-naphthalene acetamide1. This new technique has many possibilities to the plant breeder, but without a more complete study of how it works these possibilities cannot be developed properly. Eyster states that “a naphthalene acetamide neutralizes the effects of an ovarian secretion which diffuses into the style and inhibits or greatly retards the growth of pollen tubes”. Since there is evidence that incompatibility is due to an immunological reaction between highly specific antigens and antibodies2,3, it is improbable that a-naphthalene acetamide should be a simple haptene to the incompatibility antibodies of four different genera of plants.

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  1. 1.

    , Science, 94, 144 (1941).

  2. 2.

    , Genetics, 22, 130 (1937).

  3. 3.

    , Proc. Roy. Soc., B. (in the press).

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  1. John Innes Horticultural Institution, Merton, London, S.W.19. May 2.

    • D. LEWIS


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