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Trends Plant Sci. 2019 Aug;24(8):688-699. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2019.05.005. Epub 2019 Jun 29.

Stronger When Together: Clustering of Plant NLR Disease resistance Genes.

Author information

1
Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada; Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada.
2
Michael Smith Laboratories, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada; Department of Botany, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada. Electronic address: xinli@msl.ubc.ca.

Abstract

Gene clustering is rare in eukaryotes. However, nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (NLR)-encoding disease resistance (R) genes show consistent clustering in plant genomes. These arrangements are likely to provide coregulatory benefits, as suggested by growing evidence that the gene products of both paired and larger clusters of NLRs act together in triggering immunity. Head-to-head gene pairs where one of the encoded NLRs includes an integrated decoy domain appear to behave differently than clusters evolved from closely related typical NLRs. These patterns may help to explain the broad resistance that most plants have despite their finite number of R genes. By taking into consideration the relationship between genomic arrangement and function, we can improve our understanding of and ability to predict plant immune detection.

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