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Finished Genome of the Fungal Wheat Pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola Reveals Dispensome Structure, Chromosome Plasticity, and Stealth Pathogenesis

Goodwin, S.B. and M'Barek Ben, S. and Dhillon, B. and Wittenberg, A.H.J. and Crane, C.F. and Hane, J.K. and Foster, A.J. and Lee van der, T.A.J. and Grimwood, J. and Aerts, A. and Antoniw, J. and Bailey, A. and Bluhm, B. and Bowler, J.M. and Bristow, J. and Burgt van der, A. and Canto-Canché, B. and Churchill, A.C.L. and Conde-Ferràez, L. and Cools, H.J. and Coutinho, P.M. and Csukai, M. and Dehal, P. and Wit de, P. and Donzelli, B. and Geest, H.G. and Ham van, R.C.H. and Hammond-Kosack, K.E. and Henrissat, B. and Kilian, A. and Kobayashi, A.K. and Koopmann, E. and Kourmpetis, Y. and Kuzniar, A. and Lindquist, E. and Lombard, V. and Maliepaard, C. and Martins, N. and Mehrabi, R. and Nap, J.P.H. and Ponomarenko, A. and Rudd, J.J. and Salamov, A. and Schmutz, J. and Schouten, H.J. and Shapiro, H. and Stergiopoulos, I. and Torriani, S.F.F. and Tu, H. and Vries de, R.P. and Waalwijk, C. and Ware, S.B. and Wiebenga, A. and Zwiers, L.H. and Oliver, R.P. and Grigoriev, I.V. and Kema, G.H.J. (2011) Finished Genome of the Fungal Wheat Pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola Reveals Dispensome Structure, Chromosome Plasticity, and Stealth Pathogenesis. PLoS Genetics, 7, e1002070-e1002070. ISSN 1553-7390.

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The plant-pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola causes septoria tritici blotch, one of the most economically important diseases of wheat worldwide and a potential threat to global food production. Unlike most other plant pathogens, M. graminicola has a long latent period during which it seems able to evade host defenses, and its genome appears to be unstable with many chromosomes that can change size or be lost during sexual reproduction. To understand its unusual mechanism of pathogenicity and high genomic plasticity, the genome of M. graminicola was sequenced more completely than that of any other filamentous fungus. The finished sequence contains 21 chromosomes, eight of which were different from those in the core genome and appear to have originated by ancient horizontal transfer from an unknown donor. The dispensable chromosomes collectively comprise the dispensome and showed extreme plasticity during sexual reproduction. A surprising feature of the M. graminicola genome was a low number of genes for enzymes that break down plant cell walls; this may represent an evolutionary response to evade detection by plant defense mechanisms. The stealth pathogenicity of M. graminicola may involve degradation of proteins rather than carbohydrates and could have evolved from an endophytic ancestor.

Item Type:Article
Institutes:Centraalbureau voor Schimmelcultures (CBS)
ID Code:12804
Deposited On:26 Jan 2012 01:00
Last Modified:08 Jan 2013 09:50

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