A Recent Expansion of the RXLR Effector Gene Avrblb2 is Maintained in Global Populations of Phytophthora infestans Indicating Different Contributions to Virulence

Oliva, Ricardo F., Cano, Liliana M., Raffaele, Sylvain, Win, Joe, Bozkurt, Tolga O., Belhaj, Khaoula, Oh, Sang-keun, Thines, Marco and Kamoun, Sophien (2015) A Recent Expansion of the RXLR Effector Gene Avrblb2 is Maintained in Global Populations of Phytophthora infestans Indicating Different Contributions to Virulence. Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, 28 (8). pp. 901-912. ISSN 0894-0282

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Abstract

The introgression of disease resistance (R) genes encoding immunoreceptors with broad-spectrum recognition into cultivated potato appears to be the most promising approach to achieve sustainable management of late blight caused by the oomycete pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Rpi-blb2 from Solanum bulbocastanum shows great potential for use in agriculture based on preliminary potato disease trials. Rpi-blb2 confers immunity by recognizing the P. infestans avirulence effector protein AVRblb2 after it is translocated inside the plant cell. This effector belongs to the RXLR class of effectors and is under strong positive selection. Structure-function analyses revealed a key polymorphic amino acid (position 69) in AVRblb2 effector that is critical for activation of Rpi-blb2. In this study, we reconstructed the evolutionary history of the Avrblb2 gene family and further characterized its genetic structure in worldwide populations. Our data indicate that Avrblb2 evolved as a single-copy gene in a putative ancestral species of P. infestans and has recently expanded in the Phytophthora spp. that infect solanaceous hosts. As a consequence, at least four variants of AVRblb2 arose in P. infestans. One of these variants, with a Phe residue at position 69, evades recognition by the cognate resistance gene. Surprisingly, all Avrblb2 variants are maintained in pathogen populations. This suggests a potential benefit for the pathogen in preserving duplicated versions of AVRblb2, possibly because the variants may have different contributions to pathogen fitness in a diversified solanaceous host environment.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School:
Faculty of Science > School of Biological Sciences
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Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 01 Jun 2016 13:00
Last Modified: 22 Apr 2020 01:27
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/59178
DOI: 10.1094/MPMI-12-14-0393-R

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