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Front Immunol. 2013 Sep 25;4:297. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2013.00297.

Evolution and Conservation of Plant NLR Functions.

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Department of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research , Cologne , Germany ; Unité de Recherche en Génomique Végétale, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Université Evry Val d'Essone , Evry , France.


In plants and animals, nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeats (NLR)-containing proteins play pivotal roles in innate immunity. Despite their similar biological functions and protein architecture, comparative genome-wide analyses of NLRs and genes encoding NLR-like proteins suggest that plant and animal NLRs have independently arisen in evolution. Furthermore, the demonstration of interfamily transfer of plant NLR functions from their original species to phylogenetically distant species implies evolutionary conservation of the underlying immune principle across plant taxonomy. In this review we discuss plant NLR evolution and summarize recent insights into plant NLR-signaling mechanisms, which might constitute evolutionarily conserved NLR-mediated immune mechanisms.


NB-LRR; NLR; effector-triggered immunity; innate immunity; resistance protein

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