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Phylogenetic analysis of Leucine-rich Repeat Receptor-like Kinases from Citrus and the role of EFR Xylella fastidiosa recognition

Grant number: 13/01412-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 01, 2013
Effective date (End): March 31, 2016
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Genetics - Molecular Genetics and Genetics of Microorganisms
Principal researcher:Alessandra Alves de Souza
Grantee:Diogo Maciel de Magalhães
Home Institution: Instituto Agronômico (IAC). Agência Paulista de Tecnologia dos Agronegócios (APTA). Secretaria de Agricultura e Abastecimento (São Paulo - Estado). Campinas , SP, Brazil


The citrus culture in Sao Paulo state stands out as one of the most important brazilian agribusiness, generating employment and foreign exchange. Despite, the orchards productivity is low mainly due to disease problems. Among the diseases affecting citrus, citrus variegated chlorosis (CVC) caused by Xylella fastidiosa bacterium is one of the most striking because it affects all commercial varieties of sweet orange, which may lead to declines in production of up to 80%. Although pathogens presents distinguished strategies to infection, most of the times the hosts are able to resist, mainly due to the innate immune system. A great number of receptors in the surface of the plant cells allows the recognition of molecular patterns associated to the pathogens (PAMPs) and trigger different adaptive defense responses, such as walls fortification or accumulation of antimicrobial compounds. Receptor-like kinases (RLKs) constitute a large family of transmembrane proteins capable of acting in different cellular processes, including recognition of pathogens in plant-microbe interactions. The receptor of EF-Tu (EFR) identified in members of Brassicaceae is a RLK with extracellular domain of Leucine-Rich Repeats (LRR-RLK) that is capable to recognize conserved structures of the EF-Tu protein (elf18 epitope) in a group of pathogenic bacteria and thereby trigger the innate immune responses. The transfer of this recognition system (receptor AtEFR) to other plant species (except Brassicaceas) was able to confer resistance to bacteria that were pathogenic to these species. This way, one of the goals of this project, which is going to be done in collaboration with Dr. Cyril Zipfel from John Centre-UK, is to transfer the AtEFR receptor to citrus and tobacco (as a model plant) and to evaluate the possible effects of this receptor in the recognition of EF-Tu of X. fastidiosa and therefore trigger disease resistance. Furthermore, despite the availability of whole genome sequenced and the highlighted importance of these proteins in defense against pathogens, no phylogenetic analysis involving members of RLKs was reported for citrus. Thus, this study also aims to make the phylogenetic reconstruction of LRR-RLK receptors in the available genomes of C. Clementine and C. sinensis to improve the knowledge of these proteins and their relation with mechanisms of plant defense against pathogens.

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
DALIO, RONALDO J. D.; PASCHOAL, DANIELE; ARENA, GABRIELLA D.; MAGALHAES, DIOGO M.; OLIVEIRA, TIAGO S.; MERFA, MARCUS V.; MAXIMO, HEROS J.; MACHADO, MARCOS A. Hypersensitive response: From NLR pathogen recognition to cell death response. Annals of Applied Biology, NOV 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
MAGALHÃES, Diogo Maciel de. Phylogenetic analysis of "Citrus" LRR-RLKs and the involvement of EF-Tu receptor in "Xylella fastidiosa" recognition. 2016. Doctoral Thesis - Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Instituto de Biologia.

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