Cell–cell interactions in plants are expected to occur between adjoining cells that share a common developmental history. One exception is the interaction of the pollen or pollen tube with cells of the pistil. As a result, pollen–pistil interactions have emerged as models for the study of cell-to-cell signaling, particularly in the context of genetic self-incompatibility (SI). SI is an intraspecific mating barrier found in a large number of species distributed among many plant families that allows cells of the pistil to recognize and reject self-related pollen (De Nettancourt, 2001 ). Many SI systems are controlled genetically by a single highly polymorphic locus, the S locus, and pollen inhibition occurs when pollen and pistil are derived from plants that express the same S locus variant(s). Molecular studies performed during the last two decades have demonstrated that the term "self-incompatibility" does not represent one mechanism of self-recognition and that the S loci of different families are not homologous. Rather, the term encompasses a collection of disparate systems that have distinct evolutionary histories and are based on mechanistically different strategies for the inhibition of self-related pollen. One strategy used by members of the Solanaceae (McClure et al., 1989 ), Rosaceae (Sassa
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