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Dominance relationships between self-incompatibility alleles controlled by DNA methylation


In crucifers, the pollen S-determinant gene, SP11, is sporophytically expressed in the anther tapetum, and the pollen self-incompatibility phenotype is determined by the dominance relationships between the two S-haplotypes it carries. We report here that 5′ promoter sequences of recessive SP11 alleles are specifically methylated in the tapetum before the initiation of SP11 transcription. These results suggest that tissue-specific monoallelic de novo DNA methylation is involved in determining the dominance interactions that determine the cruciferous self-incompatibility phenotype.

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Figure 1: Analyses of DNA methylation state in the SP11 region of class II S-heterozygotes.


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We thank J.R. Ecker and B.D. Gregory for critical comments and discussion. We thank H. Ichikawa, T. Ohnishi, N. Wada, T. Ueda, K. Iwasaki, H. Sugita, E. Okamoto and H. Sato for technical assistance. This work was supported in part by Grants-in-Aid from the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Japan Society for Promotion of Science, and the 21st Century COE programs at Nara Institute of Science and Technology and at Iwate University.

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Correspondence to Hiroshi Shiba or Seiji Takayama.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Fig. 1

Analyses of DNA methylation status at the S-locus region of the S60 haplotype. (PDF 127 kb)

Supplementary Fig. 2

The hypermethylated SP11 promoter region and its requirement for transcriptional activity. (PDF 178 kb)

Supplementary Table 1

Primer sequences. (PDF 74 kb)

Supplementary Methods (PDF 127 kb)

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Shiba, H., Kakizaki, T., Iwano, M. et al. Dominance relationships between self-incompatibility alleles controlled by DNA methylation. Nat Genet 38, 297–299 (2006).

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