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PLoS One. 2008 Jun 4;3(6):e2300. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002300.

Comparative genome analysis of filamentous fungi reveals gene family expansions associated with fungal pathogenesis.

Author information

1
School of Biosciences, Geoffrey Pope Building, University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom.

Abstract

Fungi and oomycetes are the causal agents of many of the most serious diseases of plants. Here we report a detailed comparative analysis of the genome sequences of thirty-six species of fungi and oomycetes, including seven plant pathogenic species, that aims to explore the common genetic features associated with plant disease-causing species. The predicted translational products of each genome have been clustered into groups of potential orthologues using Markov Chain Clustering and the data integrated into the e-Fungi object-oriented data warehouse (http://www.e-fungi.org.uk/). Analysis of the species distribution of members of these clusters has identified proteins that are specific to filamentous fungal species and a group of proteins found only in plant pathogens. By comparing the gene inventories of filamentous, ascomycetous phytopathogenic and free-living species of fungi, we have identified a set of gene families that appear to have expanded during the evolution of phytopathogens and may therefore serve important roles in plant disease. We have also characterised the predicted set of secreted proteins encoded by each genome and identified a set of protein families which are significantly over-represented in the secretomes of plant pathogenic fungi, including putative effector proteins that might perturb host cell biology during plant infection. The results demonstrate the potential of comparative genome analysis for exploring the evolution of eukaryotic microbial pathogenesis.

PMID:
18523684
PMCID:
PMC2409186
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0002300
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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