Gene pyramids and the balancing act of keeping pests at bay
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Pyramiding R genes is a common strategy used by breeders to enhance resistance and increase durability of resistance in crops. However, the molecular mechanisms that mediate R gene interactions are not known. Kamphuis et al. (2019) analyzed Medicago truncatula plants carrying two genes that confer resistance to bluegreen aphids. They identified a potential phytohormone crosstalk triggered by the combined R gene action in response to aphid feeding that enhances resistance and minimizes R gene-associated fitness costs to the plant.
This article is published as MacIntosh, Gustavo C. "Gene pyramids and the balancing act of keeping pests at bay." Journal of experimental botany 70, no. 18 (2019): 4591-4593. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz216.