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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2002 Jul 9;99(14):9328-33. Epub 2002 Jun 20.

The barley stem rust-resistance gene Rpg1 is a novel disease-resistance gene with homology to receptor kinases.

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Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6420, USA.


Stem rust caused by Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici was among the most devastating diseases of barley in the northern Great Plains of the U.S. and Canada before the deployment of the stem rust-resistance gene Rpg1 in 1942. Since then, Rpg1 has provided durable protection against stem rust losses in widely grown barley cultivars (cvs.). Extensive efforts to clone Rpg1 by synteny with rice provided excellent flanking markers but failed to yield the gene because it does not seem to exist in rice. Here we report the map-based cloning and characterization of Rpg1. A high-resolution genetic map constructed with 8,518 gametes and a 330-kb bacterial artificial chromosome contig physical map positioned the gene between two crossovers approximately 0.21 centimorgan and 110 kb apart. The region including Rpg1 was searched for potential candidate genes by sequencing low-copy probes. Two receptor kinase-like genes were identified. The candidate gene alleles were sequenced from resistant and susceptible cvs. Only one of the candidate genes showed a pattern of apparently functional gene structure in the resistant cvs. and defective gene structure in the susceptible cvs. identifying it as the Rpg1 gene. Rpg1 encodes a receptor kinase-like protein with two tandem protein kinase domains, a novel structure for a plant disease-resistance gene. Thus, it may represent a new class of plant resistance genes.

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