Assessing allele-specific breakdown of self-incompatibility in Solanum carolinense: An Integrative Approach
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Solanum carolinense, a weedy invasive plant commonly known as horsenettle, utilizes self-incompatibility (SI) as a reproductive barrier against self pollination. Species with active SI normally cannot reproduce in the absence of mates due to genetic recognition between the pollen and the pistil at a multiallelic S¬-locus. Previous research identified a leaky S9 allele that co-segregates with complete breakdown of SI, and plants carrying this allele are functionally self-compatible. This study further examines the leaky SI behavior via an integrative approach. First, the continued co-segregation of breakdown of SI with S9 was assessed by performing a series of controlled pollinations. After self pollination, plants carrying S9 set significantly higher number of seeds in comparison to those that did not carry S9, providing evidence that the leakiness of S9 persists through multiple generations. In addition, breeding history effects were found to interact with genotype: in a self background, plants carrying S9 set less seed after self pollination compared to after outcross pollination. However, seed set was equivalent in an outcross background. Second, in order to identify candidate genes involved in this observed breakdown, gene expression profiles of samples that differed in genotype, breeding history, and floral age were obtained through RNA sequencing. Comparative transcriptomics provides an exploratory method for determining potential genes involved in the genetic breakdown of SI. The information collected expands on the intricate genetic mechanism and evolutionary implications of the breakdown of SI.
Franklin and Marshall College Archives, Undergraduate Honors Thesis 2013
- F&M Theses Collection