High-Resolution Mapping and Functional Analysis of se2.1
Kai-Yi Chen, Steven D. Tanksley

Abstract

The degree to which stigmas are exserted above the stamen in flowers is a key determinant of cross-pollination (and hence allogamy) in many plant species. Most species in the genus Lycopersicon are obligate or facultative outcrossers and bear flowers with highly exserted stigmas. In contrast, the cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) bears flowers with flush or inserted stigmas promoting self-fertilization. It has been observed that a major QTL, se2.1, on chromosome 2 is responsible for a large portion of phenotypic variation for this trait and that mutation(s) at this locus were likely involved in the evolution from allogamy to autogamy in this genus. To understand the genetic and molecular basis of stigma exsertion, we have conducted a high-resolution mapping at the chromosome region harboring the se2.1 QTL. The results indicate that this is a compound locus, comprising at least five tightly linked genes, one controlling style length, three controlling stamen length, and the other affecting anther dehiscence, a taxonomic character used to distinguish Lycopersicon species from other solanaceous species. This cluster of genes may represent the vestiges of an ancient coadapted gene complex in controlling mating behavior.

Footnotes

  • Communicating editor: B. Bartel

  • Received September 25, 2003.
  • Accepted November 1, 2004.
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