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Genome Biol Evol. 2015 Nov 19;7(12):3307-21. doi: 10.1093/gbe/evv225.

Evolutionarily Dynamic, but Robust, Targeting of Resistance Genes by the miR482/2118 Gene Family in the Solanaceae.

Author information

  • 1Institute of Population Genetics, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany iGRAD-Plant Graduate School, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany.
  • 2Institute of Population Genetics, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany.
  • 3Institute of Population Genetics, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany iGRAD-Plant Graduate School, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany Ceplas, Cluster of Excellence in Plant Sciences, Heinrich-Heine University Duesseldorf, Germany laura.rose@hhu.de.

Abstract

Plants are exposed to pathogens around the clock. A common resistance response in plants upon pathogen detection is localized cell death. Given the irreversible nature of this response, multiple layers of negative regulation are present to prevent the untimely or misexpression of resistance genes. One layer of negative regulation is provided by a recently discovered microRNA (miRNA) gene family, miR482/2118. This family targets the transcripts of resistance genes in plants. We investigated the evolutionary history and specificity of this miRNA gene family within the Solanaceae. This plant family includes many important crop species, providing a set of well-defined resistance gene repertoires. Across 14 species from the Solanaceae, we identified eight distinct miR482/2118 gene family members. Our studies show conservation of miRNA type and number in the group of wild tomatoes and, to a lesser extent, throughout the Solanaceae. The eight orthologous miRNA gene clusters evolved under different evolutionary constraints, allowing for individual subfunctionalization of the miRNAs. Despite differences in the predicted targeting behavior of each miRNA, the miRNA-R-gene network is robust due to its high degree of interconnectivity and redundant targeting. Our data suggest that the miR482/2118 gene family acts as an evolutionary buffer for R-gene sequence diversity.

KEYWORDS:

R-genes; disease resistance; gene family evolution; miR482/2118; microRNA; wild tomatoes

PMID:
26590211
PMCID:
PMC4700956
DOI:
10.1093/gbe/evv225
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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