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PLoS One. 2014 Jan 14;9(1):e81832. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0081832. eCollection 2014.

The genome sequence of the fungal pathogen Fusarium virguliforme that causes sudden death syndrome in soybean.

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Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, United States of America.
Department of Computer Science, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, United States of America.
Department of Plant, Soil Science, and Agricultural Systems, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, United States of America.
Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, United States of America.


Fusarium virguliforme causes sudden death syndrome (SDS) of soybean, a disease of serious concern throughout most of the soybean producing regions of the world. Despite the global importance, little is known about the pathogenesis mechanisms of F. virguliforme. Thus, we applied Next-Generation DNA Sequencing to reveal the draft F. virguliforme genome sequence and identified putative pathogenicity genes to facilitate discovering the mechanisms used by the pathogen to cause this disease.


We have generated the draft genome sequence of F. virguliforme by conducting whole-genome shotgun sequencing on a 454 GS-FLX Titanium sequencer. Initially, single-end reads of a 400-bp shotgun library were assembled using the PCAP program. Paired end sequences from 3 and 20 Kb DNA fragments and approximately 100 Kb inserts of 1,400 BAC clones were used to generate the assembled genome. The assembled genome sequence was 51 Mb. The N50 scaffold number was 11 with an N50 Scaffold length of 1,263 Kb. The AUGUSTUS gene prediction program predicted 14,845 putative genes, which were annotated with Pfam and GO databases. Gene distributions were uniform in all but one of the major scaffolds. Phylogenic analyses revealed that F. virguliforme was closely related to the pea pathogen, Nectria haematococca. Of the 14,845 F. virguliforme genes, 11,043 were conserved among five Fusarium species: F. virguliforme, F. graminearum, F. verticillioides, F. oxysporum and N. haematococca; and 1,332 F. virguliforme-specific genes, which may include pathogenicity genes. Additionally, searches for candidate F. virguliforme pathogenicity genes using gene sequences of the pathogen-host interaction database identified 358 genes.


The F. virguliforme genome sequence and putative pathogenicity genes presented here will facilitate identification of pathogenicity mechanisms involved in SDS development. Together, these resources will expedite our efforts towards discovering pathogenicity mechanisms in F. virguliforme. This will ultimately lead to improvement of SDS resistance in soybean.

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