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Building a cluster of NLR genes conferring resistance to pests and pathogens: the story of the Vat gene cluster in cucurbits

Abstract : Most molecularly characterized plant resistance genes (R genes) belong to the nucleotide-binding-site-leucine-rich-repeat (NLR) receptor family and are prone to duplication and transposition with high sequence diversity. In this family, the Vat gene in melon is one of the few R genes known for conferring resistance to insect, i.e., Aphis gossypii , but it has been misassembled and/or mispredicted in the whole genomes of Cucurbits. We examined 14 genomic regions (about 400 kb) derived from long-read assemblies spanning Vat -related genes in Cucumis melo , Cucumis sativus, Citrullus lanatus, Benincasa hispida, Cucurbita argyrosperma , and Momordica charantia . We built the phylogeny of those genes. Investigating the paleohistory of the Vat gene cluster, we revealed a step by step process beginning from a common ancestry in cucurbits older than 50 my. We highlighted Vat exclusively in the Cucumis genera, which diverged about 20 my ago. We then focused on melon, evaluating a minimum duplication rate of Vat in 80 wild and cultivated melon lines using generalist primers; our results suggested that duplication started before melon domestication. The phylogeny of 44 Vat-CDS obtained from 21 melon lines revealed gain and loss of leucine-rich-repeat domains along diversification. Altogether, we revealed the high putative recognition scale offered in melon based on a combination of SNPs, number of leucine-rich-repeat domains within each homolog and number of homologs within each cluster that might jointly confer resistance to a large pest and pathogen spectrum. Based on our findings, we propose possible avenues for breeding programs.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03216497
Contributor : Nathalie Bernard <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 9:57:51 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 8:13:38 AM

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Véronique Chovelon, Rafael Feriche-Linares, Guillaume Barreau, Joël Chadoeuf, Caroline Callot, et al.. Building a cluster of NLR genes conferring resistance to pests and pathogens: the story of the Vat gene cluster in cucurbits. Horticulture research, Nature Publishing Group, 2021, 8 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41438-021-00507-0⟩. ⟨hal-03216497⟩

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