Comparative pangenome analyses provide insights into the evolution of Brassica rapa resistance gene analogues (RGAs)

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Brassica rapa is grown worldwide as economically important vegetable and oilseed crop. However, its production is challenged by yield-limiting pathogens. The sustainable control of these pathogens mainly relies on the deployment of genetic resistance primarily driven by resistance gene analogues (RGAs). While several studies have identified RGAs in B. rapa, these were mainly based on a single genome reference and do not represent the full range of RGA diversity in B. rapa. In this study, we utilized the B. rapa pangenome, constructed from 71 lines encompassing 12 morphotypes, to describe a comprehensive repertoire of RGAs in B. rapa. We show that 309 RGAs were affected by presence-absence variation (PAV) and 223 RGAs were missing from the reference genome. The transmembrane leucine-rich repeat (TM-LRR) RGA class had more core gene types than variable genes, while the opposite was observed for nucleotide-binding site leucine-rich repeats (NLRs). Comparative analysis with the B. napus pangenome revealed significant RGA conservation (93%) between the two species. We identified 138 candidate RGAs located within known B. rapa disease resistance QTL, of which the majority were under negative selection. Using blackleg gene homologues, we demonstrated how these genes in B. napus were derived from B. rapa. This further clarifies the genetic relationship of these loci, which may be useful in narrowing-down candidate blackleg resistance genes. This study provides a novel genomic resource towards the identification of candidate genes for breeding disease resistance in B. rapa and its relatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2100-2112
Number of pages13
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


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