Transcriptomics Investigation into the Mechanisms of Self-Incompatibility between Pin and Thrum Morphs of Primula maximowiczii.Int J Mol Sci 2018; 19(7)IJ
Heteromorphic self-incompatibility (SI) is an important system for preventing inbreeding in the genus Primula. However, investigations into the molecular mechanisms of Primula SI are lacking. To explore the mechanisms of SI in Primula maximowiczii, the pollen germination and fruiting rates of self- and cross-pollinations between pin and thrum morphs were investigated, and transcriptomics analyses of the pistils after pollination were performed to assess gene expression patterns in pin and thrum SI. The results indicated that P. maximowiczii exhibits strong SI and that the mechanisms of pollen tube inhibition differ between pin and thrum morphs. While self-pollen tubes of the pin morph were able to occasionally, though rarely, enter the style, those of the thrum morph were never observed to enter the style. The transcriptomics analysis of the pistils revealed 1311 and 1048 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that were identified by comparing pin self-pollination (PS) vs. pin cross-pollination (PT) and thrum self-pollination (TS) vs. thrum cross-pollination (TP). Notably, about 90% of these DEGs exhibited different expression patterns in the two comparisons. Moreover, pin and thrum DEGs were associated with different Gene Ontology (GO) categories and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways following enrichment analyses. Based on our results, the molecular mechanisms underlying the pin and thrum SI in P. maximowiczii appear to be distinct. Furthermore, the genes involved in the SI processes are commonly associated with carbohydrate metabolism and environmental adaptation. These results provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms of Primula SI.