Submitted to: International Journal of Plant Genomics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/19/2008
Publication Date: 11/10/2008
Citation: Kuykendall, L.D., Shao, J.Y., Mcgrath, J.M., Murphy, T.S. 2008. Conserved Microsynteny of NPR1 with Genes Encoding. A Signal Calmodulin-Binding Protein and a CK1-class Protein Kinase in Beta vulgaris and Two Other Eudicots. International Journal of Plant Genomics. Available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2008/391259. Interpretive Summary: Sugar beets supply about one half of U.S. domestic sugar needed. The efficiency and profitability of crop production is significantly limited by diseases. In order to grow healthy crops without the use of harmful chemicals, new knowledge of the genetic mechanisms plants employ to resist attack by microbes is needed. In this sugar beet research, we discovered several important genes with a probable role in determining disease resistance. Very close clustering, called "microcolinearity" or "synteny" by scientists, was discovered, and plant geneticists can use this new information to improve disease resistance.
Technical Abstract: NPR1 is a gene of central importance in enabling plants to resist microbial attack. Therefore, knowledge of nearby genes is important for genome analysis and possibly for improving disease resistance. In this study systematic DNA sequence analysis, gene annotation and protein BLASTs were performed to determine genes near the NPR1 gene in Beta vulgaris L., Medicago truncatula Gaertn and Populus trichocarpa Torr & Gray and to access predicted function. Microsynteny was discovered for NPR1 with genes CaMP encoding a chloroplast-targeted signal calmodulin-binding protein and CK1PK, a CK1-class protein kinase. Conserved microsynteny of NPR1, CaMP and CK1PK in three diverse species of eudicots suggests maintenance during evolution by positive selection for close proximity. Perhaps close physical linkage contributes to coordinated expression of these particular genes that may control critically important processes including nuclear events and signal transduction.