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Two RxLR Avirulence Genes in Phytophthora sojae Determine Soybean Rps1k-Mediated Disease Resistance

July 2013 , Volume 26 , Number  7
Pages  711 - 720

Tianqiao Song , 1 Shiv D. Kale , 2 Felipe D. Arredondo , 2 Danyu Shen , 1 Liming Su , 1 Li Liu , 1 Yuren Wu , 1 Yuanchao Wang , 1 Daolong Dou , 1 , 2 and Brett M. Tyler 2

1College of Plant Protection, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, 210095, China; 2Virginia Bioinformatics Institute, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg 24061, U.S.A.

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Accepted 14 March 2013.

Resistance to Phytophthora sojae (Rps) genes have been widely used in soybean against root and stem rot diseases caused by this oomycete. Among 15 known soybean Rps genes, Rps1k has been the most widely used in the past four decades. Here, we show that the products of two distinct but closely linked RxLR effector genes are detected by Rps1k-containing plants, resulting in disease resistance. One of the genes is Avr1b-1, that confers avirulence in the presence of Rps1b. Three lines of evidence, including overexpression and gene silencing of Avr1b-1 in stable P. sojae transformants, as well as transient expression of this gene in soybean, indicated that Avr1b could trigger an Rps1k-mediated defense response. Some isolates of P. sojae that do not express Avr1b are nevertheless unable to infect Rps1k plants. In those isolates, we identified a second RxLR effector gene (designated Avr1k), located 5 kb away from Avr1b-1. Silencing or overexpression of Avr1k in P. sojae stable transformants resulted in the loss or gain, respectively, of the avirulence phenotype in the presence of Rps1k. Only isolates of P. sojae with mutant alleles of both Avr1b-1 and Avr1k could evade perception by the soybean plants carrying Rps1k.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society