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Mol Plant Pathol. 2003 Nov 1;4(6):501-7. doi: 10.1046/j.1364-3703.2003.00194.x.

Use of suppression subtractive hybridization to identify downy mildew genes expressed during infection of Arabidopsis thaliana.

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Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, Warwick, CV35 9EF, UK; Scottish Crops Research Institute, Invergowrie, Scotland, DD2 5DA, UK.


Peronospora parasitica is an obligate biotrophic oomycete that causes downy mildew in Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica species. Our goal is to identify P. parasitica (At) genes that are involved in pathogenicity. We used suppression subtractive hybridization (SSH) to generate cDNA libraries enriched for in planta-expressed parasite genes and up-regulated host genes. A total of 1345 clones were sequenced representing cDNA fragments from 25 putative P. parasitica (At) genes (Ppat 1-25) and 618 Arabidopsis genes. Analyses of expression patterns showed that 15 Ppats were expressed only in planta. Eleven Ppats encoded peptides with homology (BlastP values < 1e-05) to proteins with roles in membrane or cell wall biosynthesis, amino acid metabolism, osmoregulation, cation transport, phosphorylation or protein secretion. The other 14 represent potentially novel oomycete genes with none having homologues in an extensive Phytophthora species EST database. A full-length sequence was obtained for four Ppats and each encoded small cysteine-rich proteins with amino-terminal signal peptide sequences. These results demonstrate the utility of SSH in obtaining novel in planta-expressed genes from P. parasitica (At) that complements other gene discovery approaches such as EST sequencing.

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