ResearchPad - fungal-genomics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Short-term evolution strategies for host adaptation and drug escape in human fungal pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14537 <![CDATA[Unusual genome expansion and transcription suppression in ectomycorrhizal Tricholoma matsutake by insertions of transposable elements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd7412b83-0508-48a9-959e-b3aa8ede7a25

Genome sequencing of Tricholoma matsutake revealed its unusually large size as 189.0 Mbp, which is a consequence of extraordinarily high transposable element (TE) content. We identified that 702 genes were surrounded by TEs, and 83.2% of these genes were not transcribed at any developmental stage. This observation indicated that the insertion of TEs alters the transcription of the genes neighboring these TEs. Repeat-induced point mutation, such as C to T hypermutation with a bias over “CpG” dinucleotides, was also recognized in this genome, representing a typical defense mechanism against TEs during evolution. Many transcription factor genes were activated in both the primordia and fruiting body stages, which indicates that many regulatory processes are shared during the developmental stages. Small secreted protein genes (<300 aa) were dominantly transcribed in the hyphae, where symbiotic interactions occur with the hosts. Comparative analysis with 37 Agaricomycetes genomes revealed that IstB-like domains (PF01695) were conserved across taxonomically diverse mycorrhizal genomes, where the T. matsutake genome contained four copies of this domain. Three of the IstB-like genes were overexpressed in the hyphae. Similar to other ectomycorrhizal genomes, the CAZyme gene set was reduced in T. matsutake, including losses in the glycoside hydrolase genes. The T. matsutake genome sequence provides insight into the causes and consequences of genome size inflation.

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<![CDATA[Analysis of Epichloë festucae small secreted proteins in the interaction with Lolium perenne]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c6dc9b2d5eed0c48452a041

Epichloë festucae is an endophyte of the agriculturally important perennial ryegrass. This species systemically colonises the aerial tissues of this host where its growth is tightly regulated thereby maintaining a mutualistic symbiotic interaction. Recent studies have suggested that small secreted proteins, termed effectors, play a vital role in the suppression of host defence responses. To date only a few effectors with important roles in mutualistic interactions have been described. Here we make use of the fully assembled E. festucae genome and EffectorP to generate a suite of 141 effector candidates. These were analysed with respect to their genome location and expression profiles in planta and in several symbiosis-defective mutants. We found an association between effector candidates and a class of transposable elements known as MITEs, but no correlation with other dynamic features of the E. festucae genome, such as transposable element-rich regions. Three effector candidates and a small GPI-anchored protein were chosen for functional analysis based on their high expression in planta compared to in culture and their differential regulation in symbiosis defective E. festucae mutants. All three candidate effector proteins were shown to possess a functional signal peptide and two could be detected in the extracellular medium by western blotting. Localization of the effector candidates in planta suggests that they are not translocated into the plant cell, but rather, are localized in the apoplastic space or are attached to the cell wall. Deletion and overexpression of the effector candidates, as well as the putative GPI-anchored protein, did not affect the plant growth phenotype or restrict growth of E. festucae mutants in planta. These results indicate that these proteins are either not required for the interaction at the observed life stages or that there is redundancy between effectors expressed by E. festucae.

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<![CDATA[Apollo: Democratizing genome annotation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c648d41d5eed0c484c823a0

Genome annotation is the process of identifying the location and function of a genome's encoded features. Improving the biological accuracy of annotation is a complex and iterative process requiring researchers to review and incorporate multiple sources of information such as transcriptome alignments, predictive models based on sequence profiles, and comparisons to features found in related organisms. Because rapidly decreasing costs are enabling an ever-growing number of scientists to incorporate sequencing as a routine laboratory technique, there is widespread demand for tools that can assist in the deliberative analytical review of genomic information. To this end, we present Apollo, an open source software package that enables researchers to efficiently inspect and refine the precise structure and role of genomic features in a graphical browser-based platform. Some of Apollo’s newer user interface features include support for real-time collaboration, allowing distributed users to simultaneously edit the same encoded features while also instantly seeing the updates made by other researchers on the same region in a manner similar to Google Docs. Its technical architecture enables Apollo to be integrated into multiple existing genomic analysis pipelines and heterogeneous laboratory workflow platforms. Finally, we consider the implications that Apollo and related applications may have on how the results of genome research are published and made accessible.

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<![CDATA[Finding the needle in a haystack: Mapping antifungal drug resistance in fungal pathogen by genomic approaches]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5ca2fad5eed0c48441eee3 ]]> <![CDATA[Comparative Genomics of Plant Fungal Pathogens: The Ustilago-Sporisorium Paradigm]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da36ab0ee8fa60b86322 ]]> <![CDATA[Insights into the Utility of the Focal Adhesion Scaffolding Proteins in the Anaerobic Fungus Orpinomyces sp. C1A]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dad3ab0ee8fa60bb7154

Focal adhesions (FAs) are large eukaryotic multiprotein complexes that are present in all metazoan cells and function as stable sites of tight adhesion between the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the cell’s cytoskeleton. FAs consist of anchor membrane protein (integrins), scaffolding proteins (e.g. α-actinin, talin, paxillin, and vinculin), signaling proteins of the IPP complex (e.g. integrin-linked kinase, α-parvin, and PINCH), and signaling kinases (e.g. focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and Src kinase). While genes encoding complete focal adhesion machineries are present in genomes of all multicellular Metazoa; incomplete machineries were identified in the genomes of multiple non-metazoan unicellular Holozoa, basal fungal lineages, and amoebozoan representatives. Since a complete FA machinery is required for functioning, the putative role, if any, of these incomplete FA machineries is currently unclear. We sought to examine the expression patterns of FA-associated genes in the anaerobic basal fungal isolate Orpinomyces sp. strain C1A under different growth conditions and at different developmental stages. Strain C1A lacks clear homologues of integrin, and the two signaling kinases FAK and Src, but encodes for all scaffolding proteins, and the IPP complex proteins. We developed a protocol for synchronizing growth of C1A cultures, allowing for the collection and mRNA extraction from flagellated spores, encysted germinating spores, active zoosporangia, and late inactive sporangia of strain C1A. We demonstrate that the genes encoding the FA scaffolding proteins α-actinin, talin, paxillin, and vinculin are indeed transcribed under all growth conditions, and at all developmental stages of growth. Further, analysis of the observed transcriptional patterns suggests the putative involvement of these components in alternative non-adhesion-specific functions, such as hyphal tip growth during germination and flagellar assembly during zoosporogenesis. Based on these results, we propose putative alternative functions for such proteins in the anaerobic gut fungi. Our results highlight the presumed diverse functionalities of FA scaffolding proteins in basal fungi.

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<![CDATA[Identification of Degenerate Nuclei and Development of a SCAR Marker for Flammulina velutipes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9ecab0ee8fa60b6cdb2

Flammulina velutipes is one of the major edible mushrooms in the world. Recently, abnormalities that have a negative impact on crop production have been reported in this mushroom. These symptoms include slow vegetative growth, a compact mycelial mat, and few or even no fruiting bodies. The morphologies and fruiting capabilities of monokaryons of wild-type and degenerate strains that arose through arthrospore formation were investigated through test crossing. Only one monokaryotic group of the degenerate strains and its hybrid strains showed abnormal phenotypes. Because the monokaryotic arthrospore has the same nucleus as the parent strain, these results indicated that only one aberrant nucleus of the two nuclei in the degenerate strain was responsible for the degeneracy. A sequence-characterized amplified region marker that is linked to the degenerate monokaryon was identified based on a polymorphic sequence that was generated using random primers. Comparative analyses revealed the presence of a degenerate-specific genomic region in a telomere, which arose via the transfer of a genomic fragment harboring a putative helicase gene. Our findings have narrowed down the potential molecular targets responsible for this phenotype for future studies and have provided a marker for the detection of degenerate strains.

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<![CDATA[Signature Gene Expression Reveals Novel Clues to the Molecular Mechanisms of Dimorphic Transition in Penicillium marneffei]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da11ab0ee8fa60b79826

Systemic dimorphic fungi cause more than one million new infections each year, ranking them among the significant public health challenges currently encountered. Penicillium marneffei is a systemic dimorphic fungus endemic to Southeast Asia. The temperature-dependent dimorphic phase transition between mycelium and yeast is considered crucial for the pathogenicity and transmission of P. marneffei, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood. Here, we re-sequenced P. marneffei strain PM1 using multiple sequencing platforms and assembled the genome using hybrid genome assembly. We determined gene expression levels using RNA sequencing at the mycelial and yeast phases of P. marneffei, as well as during phase transition. We classified 2,718 genes with variable expression across conditions into 14 distinct groups, each marked by a signature expression pattern implicated at a certain stage in the dimorphic life cycle. Genes with the same expression patterns tend to be clustered together on the genome, suggesting orchestrated regulations of the transcriptional activities of neighboring genes. Using qRT-PCR, we validated expression levels of all genes in one of clusters highly expressed during the yeast-to-mycelium transition. These included madsA, a gene encoding MADS-box transcription factor whose gene family is exclusively expanded in P. marneffei. Over-expression of madsA drove P. marneffei to undergo mycelial growth at 37°C, a condition that restricts the wild-type in the yeast phase. Furthermore, analyses of signature expression patterns suggested diverse roles of secreted proteins at different developmental stages and the potential importance of non-coding RNAs in mycelium-to-yeast transition. We also showed that RNA structural transition in response to temperature changes may be related to the control of thermal dimorphism. Together, our findings have revealed multiple molecular mechanisms that may underlie the dimorphic transition in P. marneffei, providing a powerful foundation for identifying molecular targets for mechanism-based interventions.

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<![CDATA[Genome-Wide Identification and Comprehensive Analyses of the Kinomes in Four Pathogenic Microsporidia Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3cab0ee8fa60b88540

Microsporidia have attracted considerable attention because they infect a wide range of hosts, from invertebrates to vertebrates, and cause serious human diseases and major economic losses in the livestock industry. There are no prospective drugs to counteract this pathogen. Eukaryotic protein kinases (ePKs) play a central role in regulating many essential cellular processes and are therefore potential drug targets. In this study, a comprehensive summary and comparative analysis of the protein kinases in four microsporidia–Enterocytozoon bieneusi, Encephalitozoon cuniculi, Nosema bombycis and Nosema ceranae–was performed. The results show that there are 34 ePKs and 4 atypical protein kinases (aPKs) in E. bieneusi, 29 ePKs and 6 aPKs in E. cuniculi, 41 ePKs and 5 aPKs in N. bombycis, and 27 ePKs and 4 aPKs in N. ceranae. These data support the previous conclusion that the microsporidian kinome is the smallest eukaryotic kinome. Microsporidian kinomes contain only serine-threonine kinases and do not contain receptor-like and tyrosine kinases. Many of the kinases related to nutrient and energy signaling and the stress response have been lost in microsporidian kinomes. However, cell cycle-, development- and growth-related kinases, which are important to parasites, are well conserved. This reduction of the microsporidian kinome is in good agreement with genome compaction, but kinome density is negatively correlated with proteome size. Furthermore, the protein kinases in each microsporidian genome are under strong purifying selection pressure. No remarkable differences in kinase family classification, domain features, gain and/or loss, and selective pressure were observed in these four species. Although microsporidia adapt to different host types, the coevolution of microsporidia and their hosts was not clearly reflected in the protein kinases. Overall, this study enriches and updates the microsporidian protein kinase database and may provide valuable information and candidate targets for the design of treatments for pathogenic diseases.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of Five Novel Mitoviruses in the White Pine Blister Rust Fungus Cronartium ribicola]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e5ab0ee8fa60b6aec6

The white pine blister rust (WPBR) fungus Cronartium ribicola (J.C. Fisch.) is an exotic invasive forest pathogen causing severe stem canker disease of native white pine trees (subgenus Strobus) in North America. The present study reports discovery of five novel mitoviruses in C. ribicola by deep RNA sequencing. The complete genome of each mitovirus was determined by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). A single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a putative RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) was detected in each of the viral genomes using mitochondrial genetic codes. Phylogenetic analysis indicated that the C. ribicola mitoviruses (CrMV1 to CrMV5) are new putative species of the genus Mitovirus. qRT-PCR and RNA-Seq analyses revealed that viral RNAs were significantly increased in fungal mycelia in cankered pine stems compared to expression during two different stages of spore development, suggesting that viral genome replication and transcription benefit from active growth of the host fungus. CrMVs were widespread with relatively high levels of minor allele frequency (MAF) in western North America. As the first report of mitoviruses in the Class Pucciniomycetes, this work allows further investigation of the dynamics of a viral community in the WPBR pathosystem, including potential impacts that may affect pathogenicity and virulence of the host fungus.

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<![CDATA[Gene Network Polymorphism Illuminates Loss and Retention of Novel RNAi Silencing Components in the Cryptococcus Pathogenic Species Complex]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da70ab0ee8fa60b94b2c

RNAi is a ubiquitous pathway that serves central functions throughout eukaryotes, including maintenance of genome stability and repression of transposon expression and movement. However, a number of organisms have lost their RNAi pathways, including the model yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, the maize pathogen Ustilago maydis, the human pathogen Cryptococcus deuterogattii, and some human parasite pathogens, suggesting there may be adaptive benefits associated with both retention and loss of RNAi. By comparing the RNAi-deficient genome of the Pacific Northwest Outbreak C. deuterogattii strain R265 with the RNAi-proficient genomes of the Cryptococcus pathogenic species complex, we identified a set of conserved genes that were lost in R265 and all other C. deuterogattii isolates examined. Genetic and molecular analyses reveal several of these lost genes play roles in RNAi pathways. Four novel components were examined further. Znf3 (a zinc finger protein) and Qip1 (a homolog of N. crassa Qip) were found to be essential for RNAi, while Cpr2 (a constitutive pheromone receptor) and Fzc28 (a transcription factor) are involved in sex-induced but not mitosis-induced silencing. Our results demonstrate that the mitotic and sex-induced RNAi pathways rely on the same core components, but sex-induced silencing may be a more specific, highly induced variant that involves additional specialized or regulatory components. Our studies further illustrate how gene network polymorphisms involving known components of key cellular pathways can inform identification of novel elements and suggest that RNAi loss may have been a core event in the speciation of C. deuterogattii and possibly contributed to its pathogenic trajectory.

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<![CDATA[Development and performance assessment of a luminex xMAP® direct hybridization assay for the detection and identification of indoor air fungal contamination]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc5d0

Considered as a public health problem, indoor fungal contamination is generally monitored using classical protocols based on culturing. However, this culture dependency could influence the representativeness of the fungal population detected in an analyzed sample as this includes the dead and uncultivable fraction. Moreover, culture-based protocols are often time-consuming. In this context, molecular tools are a powerful alternative, especially those allowing multiplexing. In this study a Luminex xMAP® assay was developed for the simultaneous detection of 10 fungal species which are most frequently in indoor air and that may cause health problems. This xMAP® assay was found to be sensitive, i.e. its limit of detection is ranging between 0.05 and 0.01 ng of gDNA. The assay was subsequently tested with environmental air samples which were also analyzed with a classical protocol. All the species identified with the classical method were also detected with the xMAP® assay, however in a shorter time frame. These results demonstrate that the Luminex xMAP® fungal assay developed in this study could contribute to the improvement of public health and specifically to the indoor fungal contamination treatment.

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<![CDATA[Complete mitochondrial genome of the Verticillium-wilt causing plant pathogen Verticillium nonalfalfae]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc0cac

Verticillium nonalfalfae is a fungal plant pathogen that causes wilt disease by colonizing the vascular tissues of host plants. The disease induced by hop isolates of V. nonalfalfae manifests in two different forms, ranging from mild symptoms to complete plant dieback, caused by mild and lethal pathotypes, respectively. Pathogenicity variations between the causal strains have been attributed to differences in genomic sequences and perhaps also to differences in their mitochondrial genomes. We used data from our recent Illumina NGS-based project of genome sequencing V. nonalfalfae to study the mitochondrial genomes of its different strains. The aim of the research was to prepare a V. nonalfalfae reference mitochondrial genome and to determine its phylogenetic placement in the fungal kingdom. The resulting 26,139 bp circular DNA molecule contains a full complement of the 14 "standard" fungal mitochondrial protein-coding genes of the electron transport chain and ATP synthase subunits, together with a small rRNA subunit, a large rRNA subunit, which contains ribosomal protein S3 encoded within a type IA-intron and 26 tRNAs. Phylogenetic analysis of this mitochondrial genome placed it in the Verticillium spp. lineage in the Glomerellales group, which is also supported by previous phylogenetic studies based on nuclear markers. The clustering with the closely related Verticillium dahliae mitochondrial genome showed a very conserved synteny and a high sequence similarity. Two distinguishing mitochondrial genome features were also found—a potential long non-coding RNA (orf414) contained only in the Verticillium spp. of the fungal kingdom, and a specific fragment length polymorphism observed only in V. dahliae and V. nubilum of all the Verticillium spp., thus showing potential as a species specific biomarker.

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<![CDATA[Several Genes Encoding Enzymes with the Same Activity Are Necessary for Aerobic Fungal Degradation of Cellulose in Nature]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db06ab0ee8fa60bc8842

The cellulose-degrading fungal enzymes are glycoside hydrolases of the GH families and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases. The entanglement of glycoside hydrolase families and functions makes it difficult to predict the enzymatic activity of glycoside hydrolases based on their sequence. In the present study we further developed the method Peptide Pattern Recognition to an automatic approach not only to find all genes encoding glycoside hydrolases and lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases in fungal genomes but also to predict the function of the genes. The functional annotation is an important feature as it provides a direct route to predict function from primary sequence. Furthermore, we used Peptide Pattern Recognition to compare the cellulose-degrading enzyme activities encoded by 39 fungal genomes. The results indicated that cellobiohydrolases and AA9 lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases are hallmarks of cellulose-degrading fungi except brown rot fungi. Furthermore, a high number of AA9, endocellulase and β-glucosidase genes were identified, not in what are known to be the strongest, specialized lignocellulose degraders but in saprophytic fungi that can use a wide variety of substrates whereas only few of these genes were found in fungi that have a limited number of natural, lignocellulotic substrates. This correlation suggests that enzymes with different properties are necessary for degradation of cellulose in different complex substrates. Interestingly, clustering of the fungi based on their predicted enzymes indicated that Ascomycota and Basidiomycota use the same enzymatic activities to degrade plant cell walls.

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<![CDATA[The Fusarium graminearum Genome Reveals More Secondary Metabolite Gene Clusters and Hints of Horizontal Gene Transfer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db18ab0ee8fa60bcd8f6

Fungal secondary metabolite biosynthesis genes are of major interest due to the pharmacological properties of their products (like mycotoxins and antibiotics). The genome of the plant pathogenic fungus Fusarium graminearum codes for a large number of candidate enzymes involved in secondary metabolite biosynthesis. However, the chemical nature of most enzymatic products of proteins encoded by putative secondary metabolism biosynthetic genes is largely unknown. Based on our analysis we present 67 gene clusters with significant enrichment of predicted secondary metabolism related enzymatic functions. 20 gene clusters with unknown metabolites exhibit strong gene expression correlation in planta and presumably play a role in virulence. Furthermore, the identification of conserved and over-represented putative transcription factor binding sites serves as additional evidence for cluster co-regulation. Orthologous cluster search provided insight into the evolution of secondary metabolism clusters. Some clusters are characteristic for the Fusarium phylum while others show evidence of horizontal gene transfer as orthologs can be found in representatives of the Botrytis or Cochliobolus lineage. The presented candidate clusters provide valuable targets for experimental examination.

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<![CDATA[Genome Anatomy of Pyrenochaeta unguis-hominis UM 256, a Multidrug Resistant Strain Isolated from Skin Scraping]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da07ab0ee8fa60b7633e

Pyrenochaeta unguis-hominis is a rare human pathogen that causes infection in human skin and nail. P. unguis-hominis has received little attention, and thus, the basic biology and pathogenicity of this fungus is not fully understood. In this study, we performed in-depth analysis of the P. unguis-hominis UM 256 genome that was isolated from the skin scraping of a dermatitis patient. The isolate was identified to species level using a comprehensive multilocus phylogenetic analysis of the genus Pyrenochaeta. The assembled UM 256 genome has a size of 35.5 Mb and encodes 12,545 putative genes, and 0.34% of the assembled genome is predicted transposable elements. Its genomic features propose that the fungus is a heterothallic fungus that encodes a wide array of plant cell wall degrading enzymes, peptidases, and secondary metabolite biosynthetic enzymes. Antifungal drug resistance genes including MDR, CDR, and ERG11/CYP51 were identified in P. unguis-hominis UM 256, which may confer resistance to this fungus. The genome analysis of P. unguis-hominis provides an insight into molecular and genetic basis of the fungal lifestyles, understanding the unrevealed biology of antifungal resistance in this fungus.

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<![CDATA[Selection and Evaluation of Reference Genes for Expression Studies with Quantitative PCR in the Model Fungus Neurospora crassa under Different Environmental Conditions in Continuous Culture]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da49ab0ee8fa60b8c615

Neurospora crassa has served as a model organism for studying circadian pathways and more recently has gained attention in the biofuel industry due to its enhanced capacity for cellulase production. However, in order to optimize N. crassa for biotechnological applications, metabolic pathways during growth under different environmental conditions must be addressed. Reverse-transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) is a technique that provides a high-throughput platform from which to measure the expression of a large set of genes over time. The selection of a suitable reference gene is critical for gene expression studies using relative quantification, as this strategy is based on normalization of target gene expression to a reference gene whose expression is stable under the experimental conditions. This study evaluated twelve candidate reference genes for use with N. crassa when grown in continuous culture bioreactors under different light and temperature conditions. Based on combined stability values from NormFinder and Best Keeper software packages, the following are the most appropriate reference genes under conditions of: (1) light/dark cycling: btl, asl, and vma1; (2) all-dark growth: btl, tbp, vma1, and vma2; (3) temperature flux: btl, vma1, act, and asl; (4) all conditions combined: vma1, vma2, tbp, and btl. Since N. crassa exists as different cell types (uni- or multi-nucleated), expression changes in a subset of the candidate genes was further assessed using absolute quantification. A strong negative correlation was found to exist between ratio and threshold cycle (CT) values, demonstrating that CT changes serve as a reliable reflection of transcript, and not gene copy number, fluctuations. The results of this study identified genes that are appropriate for use as reference genes in RT-qPCR studies with N. crassa and demonstrated that even with the presence of different cell types, relative quantification is an acceptable method for measuring gene expression changes during growth in bioreactors.

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<![CDATA[Characterization of Greenbeard Genes Involved in Long-Distance Kind Discrimination in a Microbial Eukaryote]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6eab0ee8fa60b93cff

Microorganisms are capable of communication and cooperation to perform social activities. Cooperation can be enforced using kind discrimination mechanisms in which individuals preferentially help or punish others, depending on genetic relatedness only at certain loci. In the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa, genetically identical asexual spores (germlings) communicate and fuse in a highly regulated process, which is associated with fitness benefits during colony establishment. Recognition and chemotropic interactions between isogenic germlings requires oscillation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signal transduction protein complex (NRC-1, MEK-2, MAK-2, and the scaffold protein HAM-5) to specialized cell fusion structures termed conidial anastomosis tubes. Using a population of 110 wild N. crassa isolates, we investigated germling fusion between genetically unrelated individuals and discovered that chemotropic interactions are regulated by kind discrimination. Distinct communication groups were identified, in which germlings within one communication group interacted at high frequency, while germlings from different communication groups avoided each other. Bulk segregant analysis followed by whole genome resequencing identified three linked genes (doc-1, doc-2, and doc-3), which were associated with communication group phenotype. Alleles at doc-1, doc-2, and doc-3 fell into five haplotypes that showed transspecies polymorphism. Swapping doc-1 and doc-2 alleles from different communication group strains was necessary and sufficient to confer communication group affiliation. During chemotropic interactions, DOC-1 oscillated with MAK-2 to the tips of conidial anastomosis tubes, while DOC-2 was statically localized to the plasma membrane. Our data indicate that doc-1, doc-2, and doc-3 function as “greenbeard” genes, involved in mediating long-distance kind recognition that involves actively searching for one’s own type, resulting in cooperation between non-genealogical relatives. Our findings serve as a basis for investigations into the mechanisms associated with attraction, fusion, and kind recognition in other eukaryotic species.

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<![CDATA[Genome-Wide Comparison of Magnaporthe Species Reveals a Host-Specific Pattern of Secretory Proteins and Transposable Elements]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0dab0ee8fa60bcaaf2

Blast disease caused by the Magnaporthe species is a major factor affecting the productivity of rice, wheat and millets. This study was aimed at generating genomic information for rice and non-rice Magnaporthe isolates to understand the extent of genetic variation. We have sequenced the whole genome of the Magnaporthe isolates, infecting rice (leaf and neck), finger millet (leaf and neck), foxtail millet (leaf) and buffel grass (leaf). Rice and finger millet isolates infecting both leaf and neck tissues were sequenced, since the damage and yield loss caused due to neck blast is much higher as compared to leaf blast. The genome-wide comparison was carried out to study the variability in gene content, candidate effectors, repeat element distribution, genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism and SNPs. The analysis of repeat element footprints revealed some genes such as naringenin, 2-oxoglutarate 3-dioxygenase being targeted by Pot2 and Occan, in isolates from different host species. Some repeat insertions were host-specific while other insertions were randomly shared between isolates. The distributions of repeat elements, secretory proteins, CAZymes and SNPs showed significant variation across host-specific lineages of Magnaporthe indicating an independent genome evolution orchestrated by multiple genomic factors.

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