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The coming of age of EvoMPMI: evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions across multiple timescales

By Jessica L. Upson, Erin K. Zess, Aleksandra Bialas, Chih-Hang Wu, Sophien Kamoun

Posted 28 Jan 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/254755 (published DOI: 10.1016/j.pbi.2018.03.003)

Plant-microbe interactions are great model systems to study co-evolutionary dynamics across multiple timescales, ranging from multimillion year macroevolution to extremely rapid evolutionary adaptations. However, mechanistic research on plant-microbe interactions has often been conducted with little consideration of the insights that can be gained from evolutionary concepts and methods. Conversely, evolutionary research has rarely integrated the diverse range of molecular mechanisms and models that continue to emerge from the molecular plant-microbe interactions field. These trends are changing. In recent years, the incipient field of evolutionary molecular plant-microbe interactions (EvoMPMI) has emerged to bridge the gap between mechanistic molecular research and evolutionary approaches. Here, we report on recent advances in EvoMPMI. In particular, we highlight new systems to study microbe interactions with early diverging land plants, and new findings from studies of adaptive evolution in pathogens and plants. By linking mechanistic and evolutionary research, EvoMPMI promises to add a new dimension to our understanding of plant-microbe interactions.

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