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    Nucleotide-binding leucine-rich repeat receptors (NLRs) monitor the plant intracellular environment for signs of pathogen infection. Several mechanisms of NLR-mediated immunity arose independently across multiple species. These include the functional specialization of NLRs into sensors and helpers, the independent emergence of direct and indirect recognition within NLR subfamilies, the regulation of NLRs by small RNAs, and the formation of NLR networks. Understanding the evolutionary history of NLRs can shed light on both the origin of pathogen recognition and the common constraints on the plant immune system. Attempts to engineer disease resistance have been sparse and rarely informed by evolutionary knowledge. In this review, we discuss the evolution of NLRs, give an overview of previous engineering attempts, and propose how to use evolutionary knowledge to advance future research in the generation of novel disease-recognition capabilities.


    Janina Tamborski, Ksenia V Krasileva. Evolution of Plant NLRs: From Natural History to Precise Modifications. Annual review of plant biology. 2020 Apr 29;71:355-378

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    PMID: 32092278

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