Huazhong Agricultural University scientists elucidated the molecular
mechanisms involved in self-incompatibility of rapeseed (Brassica napus).
Flowering plants exhibit self-incompatibility or the ability to prevent
inbreeding by rejecting their own pollen. Since the regulation of
self-incompatibility in rapeseed is yet to be understood, this was explored
by Fang Chen and colleagues and reported the results in the International
Journal of Molecular Sciences.
The researchers identified four pairs of MLPK genes derived from the same
ancestral gene in rapeseed. A series of analyses showed that among the genes
identified and analyzed, BnaA3.MLPKf2, is highly expressed in stigmas. Then
they developed RNA-silencing lines and quadruple mutants of BnaMLPKs in
rapeseed using CRISPR-Cas9. Results of phenotypic analysis revealed that
self-incompatibility response is partially suppressed in RNA-silencing lines
and is completely impeded in quadruple mutants.
The findings indicate the importance of BnaMLPKs in regulating the
self-incompatibility response of rapeseed. The results also show a new
regulatory mechanism of MLPK in the self-incompatibility of rapeseed.