Systematic analysis and comparison of nucleotide-binding site disease resistance genes in maize

Ying Cheng, Xiaoyu Li, Haiyang Jiang, Wei Ma, Weiyun Miao, Toshihiko Yamada, Ming Zhang
FEBS Journal 2012, 279 (13): 2431-43
Nucleotide-binding site (NBS) disease resistance genes play an integral role in defending plants from a range of pathogens and insect pests. Consequently, a number of recent studies have focused on NBS-encoding genes in molecular disease resistance breeding programmes for several important plant species. Little information, however, has been reported with an emphasis on systematic analysis and a comparison of NBS-encoding genes in maize. In the present study, 109 NBS-encoding genes were identified based on the complete genome sequence of maize (Zea mays cv. B73), classified as four different subgroups, and then characterized according to chromosomal locations, gene duplications, structural diversity and conserved protein motifs. Subsequent phylogenetic comparisons indicated that several maize NBS-encoding genes possessed high similarity to function-known NBS-encoding genes, and revealed the evolutionary relationships of NBS-encoding genes in maize comparede to those in other model plants. Analyses of the physical locations and duplications of NBS-encoding genes showed that gene duplication events of disease resistance genes were lower in maize than in other model plants, which may have led to an increase in the functional diversity of the maize NBS-encoding genes. Various expression patterns of maize NBS-encoding genes in different tissues were observed using an expressed-sequence tags database and, alternatively, after southern leaf blight infection or the application of exogenous salicylic acid. The results reported in the present study contribute to an improved understanding of the NBS-encoding gene family in maize.


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