The evolution of disease resistance genes

Plant Mol Biol. 2000 Jan;42(1):195-204.


Several common themes have shaped the evolution of plant disease resistance genes. These include duplication events of progenitor resistance genes and further expansion to create clustered gene families. Variation can arise from both intragenic and intergenic recombination and gene conversion. Recombination has also been implicated in the generation of novel resistance specificities. Resistance gene clusters appear to evolve more rapidly than other regions of the genome. In addition, domains believed to be involved in recognitional specificity, such as the leucine-rich repeat (LRR), are subject to adaptive selection. Transposable elements have been associated with some resistance gene clusters, and may generate further variation at these complexes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Evolution, Molecular*
  • Genes, Plant
  • Genetic Variation
  • Plant Diseases / genetics*
  • Plants / genetics*