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Evidence For DNA Fragmentation Triggered In The Self-incompatibility Response In Pollen Of Papaver Rhoeas.

N. D. Jordan, F. Franklin, V. E. Franklin-Tong
Published 2000 · Biology, Medicine

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Studies of the molecular and biochemical basis of self-incompatibility (SI) in Papaver rhoeas have revealed much about the signalling pathways triggered in pollen early in this response. The aim of the current investigation was to begin to study downstream events in order to elucidate some of the later cellular responses involved in the SI response and identification of the mechanisms controlling the irreversible inhibition of pollen tube growth. We have used the FragEL assay to investigate if there is any evidence for DNA fragmentation stimulated in pollen of P. rhoeas in an S-specific manner. Our data clearly demonstrate that S proteins are responsible for triggering this, specifically in incompatible, and not compatible, pollen. DNA fragmentation was first detected in incompatible pollen tubes 4 h after challenge with S proteins, and continued to increase for a further 10 h. This provides the first evidence, to our knowledge, that this phenomenon is associated with the SI response. We also demonstrate that mastoparan, which increases [Ca2+]i, also triggers DNA fragmentation in these pollen tubes, thereby implicating an involvement of Ca2+ signalling in this process. Together, our data represent a significant breakthrough in understanding of the SI response in Papaver pollen.
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