Isolation of an Rx homolog from C. annuum and the evolution of Rx genes in the Solanaceae family

Shi, Jinxia; Yeom, Seon-In; Kang, Won-Hee; Park, Min-Kyu; Choi, Doil; Kwon, Jin-Kyung; Han, Jung-Heon; Lee, Heung-Ryul; Kim, Byung-Dong; Kang, Byoung-Cheorl
October 2011
Plant Biotechnology Reports;Oct2011, Vol. 5 Issue 4, p331
Academic Journal
The well-conserved NBS domain of resistance ( R) genes cloned from many plants allows the use of a PCR-based approach to isolate resistance gene analogs (RGAs). In this study, we isolated an RGA ( CapRGC) from Capsicum annuum 'CM334' using a PCR-based approach. This sequence encodes a protein with very high similarity to Rx genes, the Potato Virus X (PVX) R genes from potato. An evolutionary analysis of the CapRGC gene and its homologs retrieved by an extensive search of a Solanaceae database provided evidence that Rx-like genes (eight ESTs or genes that show very high similarity to Rx) appear to have diverged from R1 [an NBS-LRR R gene against late blight ( Phytophthora infestans) from potato]-like genes. Structural comparison of the NBS domains of all the homologs in Solanaceae revealed that one novel motif, 14, is specific to the Rx-like genes, and also indicated that several other novel motifs are characteristic of the R1-like genes. Our results suggest that Rx-like genes are ancient but conserved. Furthermore, the novel conserved motifs can provide a basis for biochemical structural-function analysis and be used for degenerate primer design for the isolation of Rx-like sequences in other plant species. Comparative mapping study revealed that the position of CapRGC is syntenic to the locations of Rx and its homolog genes in the potato and tomato, but cosegregation analysis showed that CapRGC may not be the R gene against PVX in pepper. Our results confirm previous observations that the specificity of R genes is not conserved, while the structure and function of R genes are conserved. It appears that CapRGC may function as a resistance gene to another pathogen, such as the nematode to which the structure of CapRGC is most similar.


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