2017 CSPB C.D. Nelson Award | Uncovering stigmatic factors required for mate selection in Brassicaceae

Saturday, July 14
4:40 PM - 5:05 PM

Self-incompatibility (SI) response is a genetic mechanism that allows stigmas to reject self or genetically similar (incompatible) pollen, while accepting non-self or cross (compatible) pollen to promote genetic diversity. On the dry stigmas of Brassicaceae, this response is controlled at the stigmatic surface where incompatible pollen are rejected by preventing their hydration and germination. In contrast, compatible pollen are provided the necessary resources by the stigmatic papillary cells to germinate and penetrate the stigma. Through a proteomics approach followed by functional analysis of several candidates, we have identified multiple components downstream of the well-established interaction between the stigma S-receptor kinase and the pollen encoded SCR/SP11 ligand that converges on the ARC1 E3 ligase. Our observations suggest that the main mode of SI in the stigmatic papillae is through inhibition of vesicle trafficking to the pollen attachment site that is required for pollen germination to occur, thereby blocking growth of self or incompatible pollen. Other ongoing translational research in canola to promote frost-tolerant degreening and to enhance shatter tolerance will also be discussed.

Marcus A. Samuel, PhD

Associate Professor of Integrative Cell Biology (Plant Biology)
University of Calgary

Dr. Marcus Samuel is an Associate Professor of Integrative Cell Biology (Plant Biology) in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary. Dr. Samuel received his PhD in Plant Biology from Brian Ellis’ lab at the University of British Columbia and did his post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Toronto with Daphne Goring, working on self-incompatibility response in Brassicaceae. Dr. Samuel’s research involves understanding cell-cell communication that occurs between the pollen and the stigma that is crucial for successful reproduction in flowering plants. His NSERC Discovery research program aims to identify the signaling network that allows plants to discern between compatible and incompatible mates. Dr. Samuel’s group is also involved in translational research that focuses on trait improvement in canola through biotechnological solutions. His research group has developed new methods to confer frost-tolerant seed degreening, to enhance drought tolerance and to improve shatter tolerance in canola. Dr. Samuel is currently supported by the Alberta Crop Industry Development Funds, NSERC Strategic Partnership Projects Grant, and industry funding from Frontier Agri-Sciences inc. and Crop Production Services Inc.

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2017 CSPB C.D. Nelson Award | Uncovering stigmatic factors required for mate selection in Brassicaceae



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