During infection, both phytopathogenic and endophytic fungi form intimate contact with living plant cells, and need to resist or disable host defences and modify host metabolism to adapt to their host. Fungi can achieve these changes by secreting proteins and enzymes. A comprehensive comparison of the secretomes of both endophytic and pathogenic fungi can improve our understanding of the interactions between plants and fungi. Although Magnaporthe oryzae , Gaeumannomyces graminis , and M . poae are economically important fungal pathogens, and the related species Harpophora oryzae is an endophyte, they evolved from a common pathogenic ancestor. We used a pipeline analysis to predict the H . oryzae , M . oryzae , G . graminis , and M . poae secretomes and identified 1142, 1370, 1001, and 974 proteins, respectively. Orthologue gene analyses demonstrated that the M . oryzae secretome evolved more rapidly than those of the other three related species, resulting in many species-specific secreted protein-encoding genes, such as avirulence genes. Functional analyses highlighted the abundance of proteins involved in the breakdown of host plant cell walls and oxidation-reduction processes. We identified three novel motifs in the H . and M . oryzae secretomes, which may play key roles in the interaction between rice and H . oryzae . Furthermore, we found that expression of the H . oryzae secretome involved in plant cell wall degradation was downregulated, but the M . oryzae secretome was upregulated with many more upregulated genes involved in oxidation-reduction processes. The divergent in planta expression patterns of the H . and M . oryzae secretomes reveal differences that are associated with mutualistic and pathogenic interactions, respectively.
Background As an agriculturally important oomycete genus, Phytophthora contains a large number of destructive plant pathogens that severely threaten agricultural production and natural ecosystems. Among them is the broad host range pathogen P. palmivora, which infects many economically important plant species. An essential way to dissect their pathogenesis mechanisms is genetic modification of candidate genes, which requires effective transformation systems. Four methods were developed for transformation of Phytophthora spp., including PEG(polyethylene glycol)/CaCl2 mediated protoplast transformation, electroporation of zoospores, microprojectile bombardment and Agrobacterium-mediated transformation (AMT). Among them, AMT has many advantages over the other methods such as easy handling and mainly generating single-copy integration in the genome. An AMT method previously reported for P. infestans and P. palmivora has barely been used in oomycete research due to low success and low reproducibility. Results In this study, we report a simple and efficient AMT system for P. palmivora. Using this system, we were able to reproducibly generate over 40 transformants using zoospores collected from culture grown in a single 100 mm-diameter petri dish. The generated GFP transformants constitutively expressed GFP readily detectable using a fluorescence microscope. All of the transformants tested using Southern blot analysis contained a single-copy T-DNA insertion. Conclusions This system is highly effective and reproducible for transformation of P. palmivora and expected to be adaptable for transformation of additional Phytophthora spp. and other oomycetes. Its establishment will greatly accelerate their functional genomic studies.
Background. Rust fungi are an important group of plant pathogens that cause devastating losses in agricultural, silvicultural and natural ecosystems. Plants can be protected from rust disease by resistance genes encoding receptors that trigger a highly effective defence response upon recognition of specific pathogen avirulence proteins. Identifying avirulence genes is crucial for understanding how virulence evolves in the field.
Results. To facilitate avirulence gene cloning in the flax rust fungus, Melampsora lini, we constructed a high-density genetic linkage map using single nucleotide polymorphisms detected in restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (RADseq) data. The map comprises 13,412 RADseq markers in 27 linkage groups that together span 5860 cM and contain 2756 recombination bins. The marker sequences were used to anchor 68.9 % of the M. lini genome assembly onto the genetic map. The map and anchored assembly were then used to: 1) show that M. lini has a high overall meiotic recombination rate, but recombination distribution is uneven and large coldspots exist; 2) show that substantial genome rearrangements have occurred in spontaneous loss-of-avirulence mutants; and 3) identify the AvrL2 and AvrM14 avirulence genes by map-based cloning. AvrM14 is a dual-specificity avirulence gene that encodes a predicted nudix hydrolase. AvrL2 is located in the region of the M. lini genome with the lowest recombination rate and encodes a small, highly-charged proline-rich protein.
Conclusions. The M. lini high-density linkage map has greatly advanced our understanding of virulence mechanisms in this pathogen by providing novel insights into genome variability and enabling identification of two new avirulence genes.
Microbiome analysis using metagenomic sequencing has revealed a vast microbial diversity associated with plants. Identifying the molecular functions associated with microbiome-plant interaction is a significant challenge concerning the development of microbiome-derived technologies applied to agriculture. An alternative to accelerate the discovery of the microbiome benefits to plants is to construct microbial culture collections concomitant with accessing microbial community structure and abundance. However, traditional methods of isolation, cultivation, and identification of microbes are time-consuming and expensive. Here we describe a method for identification of microbes in culture collections constructed by picking colonies from primary platings that may contain single or multiple microorganisms, which we named community-based culture collections (CBC). A multiplexing 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing based on two-step PCR amplifications with tagged primers for plates, rows, and columns allowed the identification of the microbial composition regardless if the well contains single or multiple microorganisms. The multiplexing system enables pooling amplicons into a single tube. The sequencing performed on the PacBio platform led to recovery near-full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences allowing accurate identification of microorganism composition in each plate well. Cross-referencing with plant microbiome structure and abundance allowed the estimation of diversity and abundance representation of microorganism in the CBC.
While most commonly associated with prokaryotes, horizontal gene transfer (HGT) can also have a significant influence on the evolution of microscopic eukaryotes. Systematic analysis of HGT in the genomes of the oomycetes, filamentous eukaryotic microorganisms in the Stramenopiles - Alveolates - Rhizaria (SAR) supergroup, has to date focused mainly on intradomain transfer events between oomycetes and fungi. Using systematic whole-genome analysis followed by phylogenetic reconstruction, we have investigated the extent of interdomain HGT between bacteria and plant-pathogenic oomycetes. We report five putative instances of HGT from bacteria into the oomycetes. Two transfers were found in Phytophthora species, including one unique to the cucurbit pathogen Phytophthora capsici . Two were found in Pythium species only, and the final transfer event was present in Phytopythium and Pythium species, the first reported bacterium-inherited genes in these genera. Our putative transfers included one protein that appears to be a member of the Pythium secretome, metabolic proteins, and enzymes that could potentially break down xenobiotics within the cell. Our findings complement both previous reports of bacterial genes in oomycete and SAR genomes and the growing body of evidence suggesting that interdomain transfer from prokaryotes into eukaryotes occurs more frequently than previously thought.
IMPORTANCE Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) is the nonvertical inheritance of genetic material by transfer between different species. HGT is an important evolutionary mechanism for prokaryotes and in some cases is responsible for the spread of antibiotic resistance from resistant to benign species. Genome analysis has shown that examples of HGT are not as frequent in eukaryotes, but when they do occur they may have important evolutionary consequences. For example, the acquisition of fungal genes by an ancestral Phytophthora (plant destroyer) species is responsible for the large repertoire of enzymes in the plant-degrading arsenal of modern-day Phytophthora species. In this analysis, we set out to systematically search oomycete genomes for evidence of interdomain HGT (transfer of bacterial genes into oomycete species). Our results show that interdomain HGT is rare in oomycetes but has occurred. We located five well-supported examples, including one that could potentially break down xenobiotics within the cell.
Amphibian populations are experiencing catastrophic declines driven by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Although horizontal gene transfer (HGT) facilitates the evolution and adaptation in many fungi by conferring novel function genes to the recipient fungi, inter-kingdom HGT in Bd remains largely unexplored. In this study, our investigation detects 19 bacterial genes transferred to Bd, including metallo-beta-lactamase and arsenate reductase that play important roles in the resistance to antibiotics and arsenates. Moreover, three probable HGT gene families in Bd are from plants and one gene family coding the ankyrin repeat-containing protein appears to come from oomycetes. The observed multi-copy gene families associated with HGT are probably due to the independent transfer events or gene duplications. Five HGT genes with extracellular locations may relate to infection, and some other genes may participate in a variety of metabolic pathways, and in doing so add important metabolic traits to the recipient. The evolutionary analysis indicates that all the transferred genes evolved under purifying selection, suggesting that their functions in Bd are similar to those of the donors. Collectively, our results indicate that HGT from diverse donors may be an important evolutionary driver of Bd, and improve its adaptations for infecting and colonizing host amphibians.
Author Summary The extracellular space in the leaf (the apoplast) is colonized by a diversity of microbes that will have to deal with host-secreted hydrolytic enzymes, many of which accumulate during defence responses. We hypothesize that in addition to fungal and oomycete pathogens, the bacterial model plant pathogen Pseudomonas syringae also protects itself in the apoplast by secreting inhibitors targeting these apoplastic hydrolases. The genome of P . syringe harbours over 131 genes encoding putative small, non-annotated secreted proteins that have not been characterized previously. Here, we produced and purified 43 of these small proteins and tested them for their ability to inhibit the secreted immune protease C14 of tomato. We discovered a C14 protease inhibitor, coined Cip1, which carries chagasin-like motifs and contributes to virulence. Cip1 also effectively inhibits Pip1, another immune protease of tomato, known to suppress P . syringae infection. Interestingly, Cip1 has a lower affinity for the immune protease Rcr3, explaining why this protein, and PtoDC3000 producing Cip1, is not recognized in tomato plants carrying the Cf-2 resistance gene, which uses Rcr3 as a co-receptor to detect pathogen invasion.
A free database describes genome sequences, gene expression and molecular modifications to DNA for more than 1,000 Arabidopsis thaliana plants, providing valuable information on the complex history and current variation of this species.
Author Summary The pathogen Entamoeba histolytica can live asymptomatically in the human gut, or it can disrupt the intestinal barrier and induce life-threatening abscesses in different organs, most often in the liver.
Crown rot ( Phytophthora cactorum ) causes significant economic losses in strawberry production. The best control strategy would be to use resistant cultivars, but polygenically inherited resistance makes the breeding of the garden strawberry ( Fragaria × ananassa ) challenging. The diploid wild strawberry Fragaria vesca Hawaii 4 genotype was shown previously to have resistance against crown rot. To explore the resistance mechanisms, we inoculated the roots of Hawaii 4 with P . cactorum in a novel in vitro hydroponic system to minimize interference caused by other microbes. Major reprogramming of the root transcriptome occurred, involving 30% of the genes. The surveillance system of the plant shifted from the development mode to the defense mode. Furthermore, the immune responses as well as many genes involved in the biosynthesis of the defense hormones jasmonic acid, ethylene and salicylic acid were up-regulated. Several major allergen-like genes encoding PR-10 proteins were highly expressed in the inoculated plants, suggesting that they also have a crucial role in the defense responses against P . cactorum . Additionally, flavonoids and terpenoids may be of vital importance, as several genes involved in their biosynthesis were up-regulated. The cell wall biosynthesis and developmental processes were down-regulated, possibly as a result of the down-regulation of the key genes involved in the biosynthesis of growth-promoting hormones brassinosteroids and auxin. Of particular interest was the expression of potential resistance genes in the recently identified P . cactorum resistance locus RPc-1 . These new findings help to target the breeding efforts aiming at more resistant strawberry cultivars.
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