NSF Plant Genome website

 Functional and Comparative Genomics of Disease Resistance Gene Homologs

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   National Science Foundation Award #9975971



Project Overview

 NSF award

 Investigators and personnel


This project is funded by the National Science Foundation and was established to study the function of NBS-LRR-encoding genes. These genes play a primary role in the detection of pathogens and the initiation of specific plant defenses. Our studies are taking place in the model plant Arabidopsis, taking advantage of the complete genomic sequence. In parallel, we are studying NBS-LRR encoding genes isolated from maize and rice. Initially, we have been characterizing Arabidopsis and rice NBS-LRR-encoding genes using bioinformatics tools (see links above for data), while also developing systems to study these genes using ligand-independent approaches. Currently, we are producing Arabidopsis transgenic lines containing representative NBS-LRRs of unknown function cloned into our modified dexamethasone-inducible expression vector (see links above for progress). Induction with dexamethasone results in overexpression and mimics the hypersensitive response, occurring in the absence of a pathogen. The phenotype is assessed using microarrays to monitor global changes in gene expression. Overexpression of a broad range of Arabidopsis NBS-LRRs of unknown function will allow us to establish functional classes for the ~150 genes in the Col-0 genome. Initial microarray studies were conducted on Avr/R interactions between Arabidopsis and Pseudomonas syringae in pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains of P. syringae carrying avirulence genes detected by RPM1, RPS2, RPS4 and RPS5.


University of California - Davis
University of Madison - Wisconsin
Kansas State University

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