The unusual S locus of Leavenworthia is composed of two sets of paralogous loci

Sier Ching Chantha, Adam C. Herman, Vincent Castric, Xavier Vekemans, William Marande, Daniel J. Schoen

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8 Scopus citations


The Leavenworthia self-incompatibility locus (S locus) consists of paralogs (Lal2, SCRL) of the canonical Brassicaceae S locus genes (SRK, SCR), and is situated in a genomic position that differs from the ancestral one in the Brassicaceae. Unexpectedly, in a small number of Leavenworthia alabamica plants examined, sequences closely resembling exon 1 of SRK have been found, but the function of these has remained unclear. BAC cloning and expression analyses were employed to characterize these SRK-like sequences. An SRK-positive Bacterial Artificial Chromosome clone was found to contain complete SRK and SCR sequences located close by one another in the derived genomic position of the Leavenworthia S locus, and in place of the more typical Lal2 and SCRL sequences. These sequences are expressed in stigmas and anthers, respectively, and crossing data show that the SRK/SCR haplotype is functional in self-incompatibility. Population surveys indicate that < 5% of Leavenworthia S loci possess such alleles. An ancestral translocation or recombination event involving SRK/SCR and Lal2/SCRL likely occurred, together with neofunctionalization of Lal2/SCRL, and both haplotype groups now function as Leavenworthia S locus alleles. These findings suggest that S locus alleles can have distinctly different evolutionary origins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1255
Number of pages9
JournalNew Phytologist
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Discovery Grant to Daniel Schoen and European Research Council (NOVEL project, grant #648321) and is a contribution to the CPER research project CLIMIBIO. The authors thank the French Ministère de l’Enseignement Supérieur et de la Recherche, the Hauts de France Region and the European Funds for Regional Economical Development for their financial support to this project. We thank Hélène Bergès for logistic support with the BAC cloning work described in this study.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2017 New Phytologist Trust


  • Leavenworthia
  • S locus evolution
  • S locus haplotypes
  • paralogy
  • self-incompatibility


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