Functional & Integrative Genomics

, Volume 10, Issue 4, pp 463–476 | Cite as

Germin-like proteins (GLPs) in cereal genomes: gene clustering and dynamic roles in plant defence

  • James BreenEmail author
  • Matthew Bellgard


The recent release of the genome sequences of a number of crop and model plant species has made it possible to define the genome organisation and functional characteristics of specific genes and gene families of agronomic importance. For instance, Sorghum bicolor, maize (Zea mays) and Brachypodium distachyon genome sequences along with the model grass species rice (Oryza sativa) enable the comparative analysis of genes involved in plant defence. Germin-like proteins (GLPs) are a small, functionally and taxonomically diverse class of cupin-domain containing proteins that have recently been shown to cluster in an area of rice chromosome 8. The genomic location of this gene cluster overlaps with a disease resistance QTL that provides defence against two rice fungal pathogens (Magnaporthe oryzae and Rhizoctonia solani). Studies showing the involvement of GLPs in basal host resistance against powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis ssp.) have also been reported in barley and wheat. In this mini-review, we compare the close proximity of GLPs in publicly available cereal crop genomes and discuss the contribution that these proteins, and their genome sequence organisation, play in plant defence.


Germin-like proteins (GLPs) Disease resistance Cereal genomes 



The authors would like to thank the help of Professor Christ of Ringli for manuscript editing and scientific feedback.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Plant BiologyUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Centre for Comparative GenomicsMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia

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