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Evidence for ovarian self-incompatibility as a cause of self-sterility in the relictual woody angiosperm, Pseudowintera axillaris (Winteraceae).

ABSTRACT: Species within the genus Pseudowintera exhibit high rates of self-sterility. Self-sterility in the genus has been previously posited-but not confirmed-to be the result of late-acting ovarian self-incompatibility (OSI) functioning within nucellar tissue of the ovule to prevent self pollen tubes from entering the embryo sac. Structural and functional aspects of pollen-carpel interactions and early seed development following cross- and self-pollination were investigated in P. axillaris to determine the site, timing and possible mechanisms of self-sterility. No significant differences were observed between pollen tube growth, ovule penetration and double fertilization following cross- and self-pollination. Pollen tubes exhibited phasic growth in an extracellular matrix composed of proteins and carbohydrates, as well as arabinogalactans/arabinogalactan proteins. A uniform failure in embryo sac development prior to division of the zygote was apparent within 15 d following double fertilization by self gametes. Results indicate that SI mechanisms in P. axillaris do not prevent double fertilization from occurring. Instead, mechanisms of self-sterility affect post-zygotic development of the embryo sac. Although self-sterility may be attributed to inbreeding depression, given the post-zygotic nature of failure in embryo sac development, the possibility of late-acting OSI is discussed.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC4242389 | BioStudies | 2003-01-01T00:00:00Z

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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