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In PLoS Genetics: RPW8/HR4 and NLR activation

Posted on July 26, 2019

Barragan et al.: RPW8/HR repeats control NLR activation in Arabidopsis thaliana read more

RPW8/HR repeats control NLR activation in Arabidopsis thaliana


Barragan et al., PLoS Genetics, published July 25, 2019

In many plant species, conflicts between divergent elements of the immune system, especially nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptors (NLR), can lead to hybrid necrosis. Here, we report deleterious allele-specific interactions between an NLR and a non-NLR gene cluster, resulting in not one, but multiple hybrid necrosis cases in Arabidopsis thaliana. The NLR cluster is RESISTANCE TO PERONOSPORA PARASITICA 7 (RPP7), which can confer strain-specific resistance to oomycetes. The non-NLR cluster is RESISTANCE TO POWDERY MILDEW 8 (RPW8) / HOMOLOG OF RPW8 (HR), which can confer broad-spectrum resistance to both fungi and oomycetes. RPW8/HR proteins contain at the N-terminus a potential transmembrane domain, followed by a specific coiled-coil (CC) domain that is similar to a domain found in pore-forming toxins MLKL and HET-S from mammals and fungi. C-terminal to the CC domain is a variable number of 21- or 14-amino acid repeats, reminiscent of regulatory 21-amino acid repeats in fungal HET-S. The number of repeats in different RPW8/HR proteins along with the sequence of a short C-terminal tail predicts their ability to activate immunity in combination with specific RPP7 partners. Whether a larger or smaller number of repeats is more dangerous depends on the specific RPW8/HR autoimmune risk variant.

Farewell to Hernán and Clemens

Posted on July 22, 2019

After a very successful 7 years in Weigelworld, first as a Postdoc, then as a group leader, Hernán will relocate to London, and start his new lab at UCL. We wish you all the best! Clemens, Hernán's first grad student who just... read more

After a very successful 7 years in Weigelworld, first as a Postdoc, then as a group leader, Hernán will relocate to London, and start his new lab at UCL.
We wish you all the best!

Clemens, Hernán's first grad student who just defended a very successful PhD thesis, will continue as a postdoc in Stanford. All the best!

Congratulations, Dr. Clemens Weiss!

Posted on July 05, 2019

Clemens successfully defended his PhD thesis on the use of ancient DNA from plants and microbes for evolutionary inference. read more

Congratulations, Clemens!

Genome Editing – Chancen und Risiken

Posted on July 05, 2019

Public lecture on genome editing as part of the Studium Generale read more

Detlef spoke about "How common are spontaneous mutations in plants - and how do they compare to genome editing?"

Last year, the European Court of Justice decided that the EU Directive on the release of genetically modified organisms should also be applied to genome edited plants and animals. Detlef explained what mutations are all about and how the Court arrived at its decision. His slides (in German) can be accessed on figshare.

Congratulations, Dr. Julian Regalado!

Posted on July 04, 2019

Julian successfully defended his PhD thesis on the use of whole genome shotgun sequencing in microbiome studies. read more

 

Congratulations, Julian!

Nat Ecol Evol: The mashed-up origin of European potatoes

Posted on June 24, 2019

The origins and adaptation of the modern European potato have been unveiled using historical herbarium genomes. read more

The origins and adaptation of European potatoes reconstructed from historical genomes

Gutaker, R.M., Weiß, C.L., Ellis, D., Anglin, N.L., Knapp, S., Fernández-Alonso, J.L., Prat, S., Burbano H.A.

Nat. Ecol. Evol. https://rdcu.be/bHBXz

Potato, one of the most important staple crops, originates from the highlands of the equatorial Andes. There, potatoes propagate vegetatively via tubers under short days, constant throughout the year. After their introduction to Europe in the sixteenth century, potatoes adapted to a shorter growing season and to tuber formation under long days. Here, we traced the demographic and adaptive history of potato introduction to Europe. To this end, we sequenced 88 individuals that comprise landraces, modern cultivars and historical herbarium samples, including specimens collected by Darwin during the voyage of the Beagle. Our findings show that European potatoes collected during the period 1650–1750 were closely related to Andean landraces. After their introduction to Europe, potatoes admixed with Chilean genotypes. We identified candidate genes putatively involved in long-day pre-adaptation, and showed that the 1650–1750 European individuals were not long-day adapted through previously described allelic variants of the CYCLING DOF FACTOR1 gene. Such allelic variants were detected in Europe during the nineteenth century. Our study highlights the power of combining contemporary and historical genomes to understand the complex evolutionary history of crop adaptation to new environments.

 

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