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Evolutionary Meta-Analysis of Solanaceous Resistance Gene and Solanum Resistance Gene Analog Sequences and a Practical Framework for Cross-Species Comparisons

May 2012 , Volume 25 , Number  5
Pages  603 - 612

Edmund A. Quirin,1 Harpartap Mann,1 Rachel S. Meyer,2 Alessandra Traini,3 Maria Luisa Chiusano,3 Amy Litt,2 and James M. Bradeen1

1University of Minnesota, Department of Plant Pathology, 495 Borlaug Hall/1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108, U.S.A.; 2The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, NY 10458, U.S.A.; 3University of Naples Federico II, Dept. of Soil, Plant, Environmental and Animal Production Sciences, Via Università 100, Portici 80055, Italy

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Accepted 23 January 2012.

Cross-species comparative genomics approaches have been employed to map and clone many important disease resistance (R) genes from Solanum species—especially wild relatives of potato and tomato. These efforts will increase with the recent release of potato genome sequence and the impending release of tomato genome sequence. Most R genes belong to the prominent nucleotide binding site-leucine rich repeat (NBS-LRR) class and conserved NBS-LRR protein motifs enable survey of the R gene space of a plant genome by generation of resistance gene analogs (RGA), polymerase chain reaction fragments derived from R genes. We generated a collection of 97 RGA from the disease-resistant wild potato S. bulbocastanum, complementing smaller collections from other Solanum species. To further comparative genomics approaches, we combined all known Solanum RGA and cloned solanaceous NBS-LRR gene sequences, nearly 800 sequences in total, into a single meta-analysis. We defined R gene diversity bins that reflect both evolutionary relationships and DNA cross-hybridization results. The resulting framework is amendable and expandable, providing the research community with a common vocabulary for present and future study of R gene lineages. Through a series of sequence and hybridization experiments, we demonstrate that all tested R gene lineages are of ancient origin, are shared between Solanum species, and can be successfully accessed via comparative genomics approaches.

© 2012 The American Phytopathological Society