Self-incompatibility in Papaver: advances in integrating the signalling network

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Carlos Flores-Ortiz
  • Tamanna Haque
  • Zongcheng Lin
  • Nianjun Teng

Colleges, School and Institutes


Self-fertilization, which results in reduced fitness of offspring, is a common problem in hermaphrodite angiosperms. To prevent this, many plants utilize SI (self-incompatibility), which is determined by the multi-allelic S-locus, that allows discrimination between self (incompatible) and non-self (compatible) pollen by the pistil. In poppy (Papaver rhoeas), the pistil S-determinant (PrsS) is a small secreted protein which interacts with the pollen S-determinant PrpS, a ~20 kDa novel transmembrane protein. Interaction of matching pollen and pistil S-determinants results in self-recognition, initiating a Ca²⁺-dependent signalling network in incompatible pollen. This triggers several downstream events, including alterations to the cytoskeleton, phosphorylation of sPPases (soluble inorganic pyrophosphatases) and an MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase), increases in ROS (reactive oxygen species) and nitric oxide (NO), and activation of several caspase-like activities. This results in the inhibition of pollen tube growth, prevention of self-fertilization and ultimately PCD (programmed cell death) in incompatible pollen. The present review focuses on our current understanding of the integration of these signals with their targets in the SI/PCD network. We also discuss our recent functional expression of PrpS in Arabidopsis thaliana pollen.

Bibliographic note

Deborah Ricci published under Deborah J. Eaves


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


  • cytoskeleton, nitric oxide (NO), Papaver, pollen, programmed cell death (PCD), reactive oxygen species (ROS), self-incompatibility