Alien domains shaped the modular structure of plant NLR proteins

Giuseppe Andolfo, Antimo Di Donato, Pasquale Chiaiese, Antonino De Natale, Antonino Pollio, Jonathan D G Jones, Luigi Frusciante, Maria Raffaella Ercolano

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27 Citations (Scopus)
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Plant innate immunity mostly relies on nucleotide-binding (NB) and leucine-rich repeat (LRR) intracellular receptors to detect pathogen-derived molecules and to induce defense responses. A multitaxa reconstruction of NB-domain associations allowed us to identify the first NB-LRR arrangement in the Chlorophyta division of the Viridiplantae. Our analysis points out that the basic NOD-like receptor (NLR) unit emerged in Chlorophytes by horizontal transfer and its diversification started from Toll/interleukin receptor-NB-LRR members. The operon-based genomic structure of Chromochloris zofingiensis NLR copies suggests a functional origin of NLR clusters. Moreover, the transmembrane signatures of NLR proteins in the unicellular alga C. zofingiensis support the hypothesis that the NLR-based immunity system of plants derives from a cell-surface surveillance system. Taken together, our findings suggest that NLRs originated in unicellular algae and may have a common origin with cell-surface LRR receptors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3466-3477
Number of pages12
JournalGenome Biology and Evolution
Issue number12
Early online date15 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019

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