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Plant Cell. 1998 Aug;10(8):1307-19.

The root knot nematode resistance gene Mi from tomato is a member of the leucine zipper, nucleotide binding, leucine-rich repeat family of plant genes.

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  • 1Center for Engineering Plants for Resistance Against Pathogens, University of California, Davis, California 95616, USA.


The Mi locus of tomato confers resistance to root knot nematodes. Tomato DNA spanning the locus was isolated as bacterial artificial chromosome clones, and 52 kb of contiguous DNA was sequenced. Three open reading frames were identified with similarity to cloned plant disease resistance genes. Two of them, Mi-1.1 and Mi-1.2, appear to be intact genes; the third is a pseudogene. A 4-kb mRNA hybridizing with these genes is present in tomato roots. Complementation studies using cloned copies of Mi-1.1 and Mi-1.2 indicated that Mi-1.2, but not Mi-1.1, is sufficient to confer resistance to a susceptible tomato line with the progeny of transformants segregating for resistance. The cloned gene most similar to Mi-1.2 is Prf, a tomato gene required for resistance to Pseudomonas syringae. Prf and Mi-1.2 share several structural motifs, including a nucleotide binding site and a leucine-rich repeat region, that are characteristic of a family of plant proteins, including several that are required for resistance against viruses, bacteria, fungi, and now, nematodes.

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