Plant Molecular Biology

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 195–204

The evolution of disease resistance genes

  • Todd E. Richter
  • Pamela C. Ronald

DOI: 10.1023/A:1006388223475

Cite this article as:
Richter, T.E. & Ronald, P.C. Plant Mol Biol (2000) 42: 195. doi:10.1023/A:1006388223475


Several common themes have shaped the evolution of plant disease resistance genes. These include duplication events of progenitor resistance genes and further expansion to create clustered gene families. Variation can arise from both intragenic and intergenic recombination and gene conversion. Recombination has also been implicated in the generation of novel resistance specificities. Resistance gene clusters appear to evolve more rapidly than other regions of the genome. In addition, domains believed to be involved in recognitional specificity, such as the leucine-rich repeat (LRR), are subject to adaptive selection. Transposable elements have been associated with some resistance gene clusters, and may generate further variation at these complexes.

gene duplicationintergenic recombinationleucine-rich repeat (LRR)transposable elementsXa21

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Todd E. Richter
    • 1
  • Pamela C. Ronald
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Engineering Plants for Resistance Against PathogensDavisUSA