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PhD Proposal Seminar – Zachary Kileeg (Mott Lab)

June 15, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Investigation and identification of immune-related receptor-kinases and their adaptive evolution



Plant disease is a major contributor to crop loss around the world. Although many methods are in use to reclaim these losses, tuning basal immunity through receptor-kinases offers a robust method for crop protection. Receptor-kinases play an important role in plant immune responses, yet our understanding of them is limited. My research leverages evolutionary methods to detect possible immune related receptor-kinases. To achieve this, I identified all receptor kinases across 26 ecotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana and clustered them into orthogroups. With this, I found a subset of receptor-kinase families showing expansion of their accessory genomes and evidence of tandem duplication – both indicative of adaptive evolution. I have also calculated the rates of positive and negative selection across the leucine-rich repeat receptor-kinase (LRR-RK) family to fingerprint potential selection events. My project moving forward sets out to complete these analyses for all receptor-kinase families and to examine the evolution and diversity of the receptor-kinases generally. Following this, I will use phylogenetic methods to analyze rates of expansion of the receptor-kinases across different plant species and identify protein domain architectures.  These analyses will discover novel immune-related receptors in Arabidopsis thaliana, which I will then confirm using high-throughput immune assays.


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Meeting ID: 828 2794 7881

Host: Adam Mott (adam.mott@utoronto.ca)



June 15, 2021
2:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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