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Cloning and phylogenetic analyses of serine/threonine kinase class defense-related genes in a wild fruit crop 'chestnut rose'

Qiang Xu* and Xiuxin Deng

Author Affiliations

National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan 430070, Hubei, PR China

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:202  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-202

Published: 18 July 2010

Abstract

Background

Chestnut rose (Rosa roxburghii Tratt) is a promising wild fruit crop in Southwest China. However, chestnut rose suffers from several important diseases such as powdery mildew and black spot. Cloning and phylogenetic analysis of plant immunity related genes will strengthen the evolutionary knowledge of plant immune system and will facilitate the utilization of candidate genes in disease resistance breeding programs.

Findings

Serine/threonine kinase (STK) genes, encoding one of the important proteins for defense signal transduction, were cloned from 'chestnut rose'. Fifteen STK sequences were obtained by degenerate PCR. Sequence analysis showed that nine of them have continued open reading frames, and they are separated into five classes based on sequence analysis. Interestingly, one of the classes (STK V) showed less than 40% similarity to any other class, possibly representing new type genes from chestnut rose. Southern blotting analysis revealed that the new type STK V genes are single copy, while all the other genes have several copies in the genome. Phylogenetic analysis of STK genes from chestnut rose and 21 plant species revealed that most chestnut rose genes show close relationship with Rosaceae homologs, while the STK V genes are rather ancient and form a unique clade distantly from plant homologs.

Conclusions

We cloned nine STK genes from a wild fruit crop 'chestnut rose', of which a new type of STK genes was identified. The new type STK genes exist as single copies in the genome, and they are phylogenetically distant to plant homologs. The polymorphic STK genes, combined with other plant immunity genes, provide plenty of resources to be utilized to defend against pathogens attack.