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Three-Dimensional Modeling and Diversity Analysis Reveals Distinct AVR Recognition Sites and Evolutionary Pathways in Wild and Domesticated Wheat Pm3 R Genes

August 2014 , Volume 27 , Number  8
Pages  835 - 845

Hanan Sela,1,2 Laurentiu N. Spiridon,3 Haim Ashkenazi,1 Navreet K. Bhullar,4 Susanne Brunner,4 Andrei-Jose Petrescu,3 Tzion Fahima,1 Beat Keller,4 and Tina Jordan4

1Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Institute of Evolution, Faculty of Science and Science Education, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa, 31905 Israel; 2The Institute for Cereal Crops Improvement, Tel-Aviv University P.O. Box 39040, Tel Aviv 69978 Israel; 3Institute of Biochemistry of the Romanian Academy, Splaiul Independentei 296, 060031 Bucharest 17, Romania; 4Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland

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Accepted 7 April 2014.

The Pm3 gene confers resistance against wheat powdery mildew. Studies of Pm3 diversity have shown that Pm3 alleles isolated from southern populations of wild emmer wheat located in Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Syria are more diverse and more distant from bread wheat alleles than alleles from the northern wild wheat populations located in Turkey, Iran, and Iraq. Therefore, southern populations from Israel were studied extensively to reveal novel Pm3 alleles that are absent from the cultivated gene pool. Candidate Pm3 genes were isolated via a polymerase chain reaction cloning approach. Known and newly identified Pm3 genes were subjected to variation analysis and polymorphic amino acid residues were superimposed on a three-dimensional (3D) model of PM3. The region of highest interspecies diversity between Triticum aestivum and T. dicoccoides lies in leucine-rich repeats (LRR) 19 to 24, whereas most intraspecies diversity in T. aestivum is located in LRR 25 to 28. Interestingly, these two regions are separated by one large LRR whose propensity for flexibility facilitates the conformation of the PM3 LRR domain into two differently structured models. The combination of evolutionary and protein 3D structure analysis revealed that Pm3 genes in wild and domesticated wheat show different evolutionary histories which might have been triggered through different interactions with the powdery mildew pathogen.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society