The maize rp1 rust resistance gene identifies homologues in barley that have been subjected to diversifying selection
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A number of agronomically important grasses (sorghum, wheat, panicum, sugar cane, oats, rice and barley) are shown to contain sequences homologous to rp1, a maize gene that confers race-specific resistance to the rust fungus Puccinia sorghi. Mapping of rp1-related sequences in barley identified three unlinked loci on chromosomes 1HL, 3HL and 7HS. The locus located on chromosome 7HS comprises a small gene family of at least four members, two of which were isolated and are predicted to encode nucleotide binding site-leucine-rich repeat (NBS-LRR) proteins that are respectively 58% and 60% identical to the maize rp1 protein. Evidence of positive selection for sequence diversification acting upon these two barley genes was observed; however, diversifying selection was restricted to the carboxy terminal half of the LRR domain. One of these rp1 homologous genes cosegregated with the barley Rpg1 stem rust resistance gene amongst 148 members of the Steptoe × Morex double haploid mapping family. Three other unrelated resistance gene-like sequences, potentially encoding NBS-LRR proteins, are also shown to be linked to the Rpg1 locus but not cosegregating with the gene.
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