Fine-mapping and comparative genomic analysis reveal the gene composition at the S and Z self-incompatibility loci in grasses

Marius Rohner, Chloé Manzanares, Steven Yates, Daniel Thorogood, Dario Copetti, Thomas Lübberstedt, Torben Asp, Bruno Studer

Research output: Working paperPreprint

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Abstract

Self-incompatibility (SI) is a genetic mechanism of hermaphroditic plants to prevent inbreeding after self-pollination. Allogamous Poaceae species exhibit a unique gametophytic SI system controlled by two multi-allelic and independent loci, S and Z. Despite intense research efforts in the last decades, the genes that determine the initial recognition mechanism are yet to be identified. Here, we report the fine-mapping of the Z-locus in perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and provide evidence that the pollen and stigma components are determined by two genes encoding DUF247 domain proteins (ZDUF247-I and ZDUF247-II) and the gene sZ, respectively. The pollen and stigma determinants are located side-by-side and were genetically linked in 10,245 individuals of two independent mapping populations segregating for Z. Moreover, they exhibited high allelic diversity as well as tissue-specific gene expression, matching expected characteristics of SI determinants known from other systems. Revisiting the S-locus using the latest high-quality whole-genome assemblies revealed a similar gene composition and structure as found for Z, supporting the hypothesis of a duplicated origin of the two-locus SI system of grasses. Ultimately, comparative genomic analyses across a wide range of self-compatible and self-incompatible Poaceae species revealed that the absence of a functional copy of at least one of the six putative SI determinants is accompanied by a self-compatible phenotype. Our study provides new insights into the origin and evolution of the unique gametophytic SI system in one of the largest and economically most important plant families.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherbioRxiv
Number of pages37
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2022

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