iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry


Adaptive response of Pinus monticola driven by positive selection upon resistance gene analogs (RGAs) of the TIR-NBS-LRR subfamily

Antonios Zambounis (1), Evangelia Avramidou (2), Aglaea Papadima (2), Athanasios Tsaftaris (1-3), Iordanis Arzimanoglou (4), Evaggelos Barbas (2), Panagiotis Madesis (3), Filippos A Aravanopoulos (2)

iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, Volume 10, Issue 1, Pages 237-241 (2017)
doi: https://doi.org/10.3832/ifor2050-009
Published: Feb 02, 2017 - Copyright © 2017 SISEF

Research Articles

Western white pine (Pinus monticola Dougl.) is an important forest tree species, which is intensively plagued by the fungus Cronartium ribicola. Resistance gene analogs (RGAs) are the most highly abundant class of potential resistance (R) genes sharing greatly conserved domains and structures. Hence RGAs are crucial components for disease resistance breeding programs on P. monticola serving as useful functional markers. A total of 33 P. monticola RGAs gene homologues were mined from GenBank, encoding for R gene members of the TIR-NBS-LRR subfamily. The existence of positive selection acting upon RGAs was determined using a series of maximum likelihood analyses. Robust evidence of positive selection was showed to be acting widely in three clades across RGA gene phylogeny, both on terminal and ancestral lineages. Furthermore, our analysis revealed that the majority of positively selected residues sites are localized widely across these RGAs sequences, putatively affecting the structures of their ligand-binding domains and offering novel specificities. These results may find immediate application in ongoing disease resistance breeding programs.


Fungal Diseases, Genomics-assisted Breeding, Non-synonymous Nucleotide Substitution, Positive Selection, Resistance Gene Analogs (RGAs), White Pines

Authors’ address

Antonios Zambounis
Athanasios Tsaftaris
Laboratory of Genetics and Plant Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 261, Thessaloniki GR54124 (Greece)
Evangelia Avramidou
Aglaea Papadima
Evaggelos Barbas
Filippos A Aravanopoulos
Laboratory of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry & Natural Environment, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, P.O. Box 238, Thessaloniki GR54006 (Greece)
Athanasios Tsaftaris
Panagiotis Madesis
Institute of Applied Biosciences, CERTH, Thermi, Thessaloniki, GR57001 (Greece)
Iordanis Arzimanoglou
Genomedica, Piraeus, GR18537 (Greece)

Corresponding author


Zambounis A, Avramidou E, Papadima A, Tsaftaris A, Arzimanoglou I, Barbas E, Madesis P, Aravanopoulos FA (2017). Adaptive response of Pinus monticola driven by positive selection upon resistance gene analogs (RGAs) of the TIR-NBS-LRR subfamily. iForest 10: 237-241. - doi: 10.3832/ifor2050-009

Academic Editor

Alberto Santini

Paper history

Received: Mar 09, 2016
Accepted: Sep 27, 2016

First online: Feb 02, 2017
Publication Date: Feb 28, 2017
Publication Time: 4.27 months

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