Infection-induced germline and somatic mutation rates of resistance genes in plants
Resistance genes are known for their high genetic diversity. However, it is not clear whether they mutate more frequently or whether there is a strong diversifying selection pressure acting on these loci. Increased mutation rates could be mediated by homologous recombination, which is specific to regions with local duplications and increased upon pathogen infection. In consequence pathogen infection could lead to increased mutation rates specifically in genes encoding a response to exactly this stress.
We will test this hypothesis by analysing the actual germline and somatic mutation rates in plant grown with and without pathogen pressure.
Principal Investigator: Prof. Dr. Korbinian Schneeberger, Institute of Genetics, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich