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David Caldwell

Former member


David Caldwell

 Lab member: 2004-2006.
Position Postdoctoral Scholar
Education 2000-2005: PhD - Plant Molecular Genetics, Scottish Crop Research Institute, in affiliation with the University of Dundee, Scotland, UK
1991-1996: BA Biology, University of Delaware, USA
Research Topic Understanding the genetic mechanism controlling the gain of resistance specificities.
Research Summary The molecular evolution of disease resistance genes and the clusters they reside in have been studied extensively over the past two decades. Hypothesis governing the spontaneous Birth of recognition specificities (i.e. gaining new sources of recognition for Avr genes or effectors) and Death of current resistance recognition (i.e. loss of recognition) have been proposed. A significant body of evidence has demonstrated that multiple genetic mechanisms (e.g. inter-genic and intra-genic recombination, unequal crossing over and gene conversion) control the topology of resistance genes and their clusters in a diverse range of species. However, thus far much of the research supporting these hypotheses has focused on the genetic events that control the spontaneous loss of resistance. Much of the genetic evidence supporting the gain of resistance has been focused on the interpretation of existing sequence information and there have been few attempts to test the Birth hypothesis directly. To this end, we aim to experimentally test the genetic events necessary to regain resistance and frequency at which they occur. We will use two diverse resistance gene clusters (RPP5 of Arabidopsis and RGC2B of Lettuce) to understand if the physical size of the gene and its cluster play a role in the genetic events exploited by the plant in order to regain resistance.
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