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Positive selection in AvrP4 avirulence gene homologues across the genus Melampsora
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2009 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, Vol. 276, no 1669, 2913-2922 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pathogen genes involved in interactions with their plant hosts are expected to evolve under positive Darwinian selection or balancing selection. In this study a single copy avirulence gene, AvrP4, in the plant pathogen Melampsora lini, was used to investigate the evolution of such a gene across species. Partial translation elongation factor 1-alpha sequences were obtained to establish phylogenetic relationships among the Melampsora species. We amplified AvrP4 homologues from species pathogenic on hosts from different plant families and orders, across the inferred phylogeny. Translations of the AvrP4 sequences revealed a predicted signal peptide and towards the C-terminus of the protein, six identically spaced cysteines were identified in all sequences. Maximum likelihood analysis of synonymous versus non-synonymous substitution rates indicated that positive selection played a role in the evolution of the gene during the diversification of the genus. Fourteen codons under significant positive selection reside in the C-terminal 28 amino acid region, suggesting that this region interacts with host molecules in most sequenced accessions. Selection pressures on the gene may be either due to the pathogenicity or avirulence function of the gene or both.

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2009. Vol. 276, no 1669, 2913-2922 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-25842DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2009.0328OAI: diva2:234285
Available from: 2009-09-07 Created: 2009-09-07

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Ericson, Lars
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Ecology and Environmental Science
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