This report demonstrates the presence of S-ribonucleases (S-RNases), which are associated with gametophytic self-incompatibility (SI) in Prunus L., in styles of self-incompatible and self-compatible (SC) selections of tetraploid sour cherry (Prunus cerasus L.). Based on self-pollen tube growth in the styles of 13 sour cherry selections, seven selections were SC, while six selections were SI. In the SI selections, the swelling of pollen tube tips, which is typical of SI pollen tube growth in gametophytic SI, was observed. Stylar extracts of these selections were evaluated by two-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Glycoproteins which had molecular weights and isoelectric points similar to those of S-RNases in other Prunus sp. were detected in all selections tested. These proteins had immunological characteristics and N-terminal amino acid sequences consistent with the S-RNases in other Prunus sp. Two cDNAs encoding glycoproteins from `Erdi Botermo' were cloned. One of them had the same nucleotide sequence as that of S4-RNase of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L.), while the amino acid sequence from the other cDNA encoded a novel S-RNase (named Sa-RNase in this study). This novel RNase contained two active sites of T2/S type RNases and five regions conserved among other Prunus S-RNases. Genomic DNA blot analysis using cDNAs encoding S-RNases of sweet cherry as probes indicated that three or four S-RNase alleles are present in the genome of each selection regardless of SI. All of the selections tested seemed to have at least one S-allele that is also found in sweet cherry. Genetic control of SI/SC in tetraploid sour cherry is discussed based on the results obtained from restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis.
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