Sota Fujii*, Takashi Tsuchimatsu, Yuka Kimura, Shota Ishida, Surachat Tangpranomkorn, Hiroko Shimosato-Asano, Megumi Iwano, Shoko Furukawa, Wakana Itoyama, Yuko Wada, Kentaro K. Shimizu, Seiji Takayama*


Pre-zygotic interspecies incompatibility in angiosperms is a male–female relationship that inhibits the formation of hybrids between two species. Here, we report on the identification of STIGMATIC PRIVACY 1 (SPRI1), an interspecies barrier gene in Arabidopsis thaliana. We show that the rejection activity of this stigma-specific plasma membrane protein is effective against distantly related Brassicaceae pollen tubes and is independent of self-incompatibility. Point-mutation experiments and functional tests of synthesized hypothetical ancestral forms of SPRI1 suggest evolutionary decay of SPRI1-controlled interspecies incompatibility in self-compatible A. thaliana. Hetero-pollination experiments indicate that SPRI1 ensures intraspecific fertilization in the pistil when pollen from other species are present. Our study supports the idea that SPRI1 functions as a barrier mechanism that permits entrance of pollen with an intrinsic signal from self species.

Paper Information

Nature Plants
: 10.1038/s41477-019-0444-6