Little is known of how plant disease resistance (R) proteins recognize pathogens and activate plant defenses. Rcr3 is specifically required for the function of Cf-2, a Lycopersicon pimpinellifolium gene bred into cultivated tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) for resistance to Cladosporium fulvum. Rcr3 encodes a secreted papain-like cysteine endoprotease. Genetic analysis shows Rcr3 is allelic to the L. pimpinellifolium Ne gene, which suppresses the Cf-2-dependent autonecrosis conditioned by its L. esculentum allele, ne (necrosis). Rcr3 alleles from these two species encode proteins that differ by only seven amino acids. Possible roles of Rcr3 in Cf-2-dependent defense and autonecrosis are discussed
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