Genomic evidence for genes encoding leucine-rich repeat receptors linked to resistance against the eukaryotic extra- and intracellular Brassica napus pathogens Leptosphaeria maculans and Plasmodiophora brassicae
Genes coding for nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat (LRR) receptors (NLRs) control resistance against intracellular (cell-penetrating) pathogens. However, evidence for a role of genes coding for proteins with LRR domains in resistance against extracellular (apoplastic) fungal pathogens is limited. Here, the distribution of genes coding for proteins with eLRR domains but lacking kinase domains was determined for the Brassica napus genome. Predictions of signal peptide and transmembrane regions divided these genes into 184 coding for receptor-like proteins (RLPs) and 121 coding for secreted proteins (SPs). Together with previously annotated NLRs, a total of 720 LRR genes were found. Leptosphaeria maculans-induced expression during a compatible interaction with cultivar Topas differed between RLP, SP and NLR gene families; NLR genes were induced relatively late, during the necrotrophic phase of pathogen colonization. Seven RLP, one SP and two NLR genes were found in Rlm1 and Rlm3/Rlm4/Rlm7/Rlm9 loci for resistance against L. maculans on chromosome A07 of B. napus. One NLR gene at the Rlm9 locus was positively selected, as was the RLP gene on chromosome A10 with LepR3 and Rlm2 alleles conferring resistance against L. maculans races with corresponding effectors AvrLm1 and AvrLm2, respectively. Known loci for resistance against L. maculans (extracellular hemi-biotrophic fungus), Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (necrotrophic fungus) and Plasmodiophora brassicae (intracellular, obligate biotrophic protist) were examined for presence of RLPs, SPs and NLRs in these regions. Whereas loci for resistance against P. brassicae were enriched for NLRs, no such signature was observed for the other pathogens. These findings demonstrate involvement of (i) NLR genes in resistance against the intracellular pathogen P. brassicae and a putative NLR gene in Rlm9-mediated resistance against the extracellular pathogen L. maculans.
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