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NLR signaling network mediates immunity to diverse plant pathogens

By Chih-Hang Wu, Ahmed Abd-El-Haliem, Tolga O Bozkurt, Khaoula Belhaj, Ryohei Terauchi, Jack H. Vossen, Sophien Kamoun

Posted 29 Nov 2016
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/090449 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1702041114)

Plant and animal nucleotide-binding domain and leucine-rich repeat-containing (NLR) proteins often function in pairs to mediate innate immunity to pathogens. However, the degree to which NLR proteins form signaling networks beyond genetically linked pairs is poorly understood. In this study, we discovered that a large NLR immune signaling network with a complex genetic architecture confers immunity to oomycetes, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and insects. The network emerged over 100 million years ago from a linked NLR pair that diversified into up to one half of the NLR of asterid plants. We propose that this NLR network increases robustness of immune signaling to counteract rapidly evolving plant pathogens.

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