Evidence for Adaptive Introgression of Disease Resistance Genes Among Closely Related Arabidopsis Species

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DOI

The generation and maintenance of functional variation in the pathogen defense system of plants is central to the constant evolutionary battle between hosts and parasites. If a species is susceptible to a given pathogen, hybridization and subsequent introgression of a resistance allele from a related species can potentially be an important source of new immunity and is therefore expected to be selected for in a process referred to as adaptive introgression. Here, we survey sequence variation in 10 resistance (R-) genes and compare them with 37 reference genes in natural populations of the two closely related and interfertile species: Arabidopsis lyrata and A. halleri The R-genes are highly polymorphic in both species and show clear signs of trans-species polymorphisms. We show that A. lyrata and A. halleri have had a history of limited introgression for the reference genes. For the R-genes, the introgression rate has been significantly higher than for the reference genes, resulting in fewer fixed differences between species and a higher sharing of identical haplotypes. We conclude that R-genes likely cross the species boundaries at a higher rate than reference genes and therefore also that some of the increased diversity and trans-specific polymorphisms in R-genes is due to adaptive introgression.

Original languageEnglish
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics (Bethesda)
Volume7
Issue8
Pages (from-to)2677-2683
Number of pages7
ISSN2160-1836
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

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