Special Issue "NLR gene evolution in plants"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 October 2019.

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Valérìe Geffroy E-Mail
Universite Paris-Sud XI, Univ. Paris-Diderot, Orsay, France

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Disease resistance (R) genes are of major importance in crop breeding since they prevent potentially dramatic yield losses caused by plant pathogens and pests. The major class of R genes encodes nucleotide-binding and leucine-rich repeat immune receptors (NLRs) and corresponds to one of the largest and most diversified gene families in plant genomes. NLR act inside plant cells by recognizing directly or indirectly enemy molecules in order to activate defense response and stop the pathogen development. In turn, pathogens actively attempt to evade and interfere with plant response pathways, leading to a coevolutionary armrace between plants and pathogens. Consequently, plants need to maintain diversity at NLR genes to cope with an ever changing array of pathogens. NLR genes are often localized in complex clusters, a structural organization that may favour the dynamic evolution and diversification of NLRs to cope with fast-evolving pathogens.

This Special Issue focuses on the evolution of NLR genes in plants, and welcomes original research articles as well as review articles that summarize recent progress and discuss future needs/opportunities in a wide range of areas including, but not limited to, molecular breeding, comparative genomics, functional genomics, genetic/genomic diversity, genome-editing, NLR-engineering, and molecular evolution of NLR in plants.

Prof. Valérìe Geffroy
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Genes is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • R genes
  • plants
  • disease resistance
  • plant-pathogen interaction
  • gene evolution

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Population Genetics of the Highly Polymorphic RPP8 Gene Family
Genes 2019, 10(9), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes10090691 - 08 Sep 2019
Abstract
Plant nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing (NLR) genes provide some of the most extreme examples of polymorphism in eukaryotic genomes, rivalling even the vertebrate major histocompatibility complex. Surprisingly, this is also true in Arabidopsis thaliana, a predominantly selfing species with low [...] Read more.
Plant nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat containing (NLR) genes provide some of the most extreme examples of polymorphism in eukaryotic genomes, rivalling even the vertebrate major histocompatibility complex. Surprisingly, this is also true in Arabidopsis thaliana, a predominantly selfing species with low heterozygosity. Here, we investigate how gene duplication and intergenic exchange contribute to this extraordinary variation. RPP8 is a three-locus system that is configured chromosomally as either a direct-repeat tandem duplication or as a single copy locus, plus a locus 2 Mb distant. We sequenced 48 RPP8 alleles from 37 accessions of A. thaliana and 12 RPP8 alleles from Arabidopsis lyrata to investigate the patterns of interlocus shared variation. The tandem duplicates display fixed differences and share less variation with each other than either shares with the distant paralog. A high level of shared polymorphism among alleles at one of the tandem duplicates, the single-copy locus and the distal locus, must involve both classical crossing over and intergenic gene conversion. Despite these polymorphism-enhancing mechanisms, the observed nucleotide diversity could not be replicated under neutral forward-in-time simulations. Only by adding balancing selection to the simulations do they approach the level of polymorphism observed at RPP8. In this NLR gene triad, genetic architecture, gene function and selection all combine to generate diversity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue NLR gene evolution in plants)
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