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Comparative Phylogenomics Uncovers the Impact of Symbiotic Associations on Host Genome Evolution

Comparative Phylogenomics Uncovers the Impact of Symbiotic Associations on Host Genome Evolution | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it
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Structure of a new DNA-binding domain which regulates pathogenesis in a wide variety of fungi

Structure of a new DNA-binding domain which regulates pathogenesis in a wide variety of fungi | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it

The WOPR-domain family of transcriptional regulators is deeply conserved in the fungal kingdom where the members function as master transcriptional regulators of cell morphology and pathogenesis. Despite the critical biological roles of WOPR-domain proteins, previous bioinformatic and structural prediction did not provide any significant matches between these proteins and any other type of protein. We describe a 2.6-Å–resolution structure of a WOPR domain in complex with its preferred DNA sequence. We also describe a set of biochemical experiments that confirms and rationalizes the importance of the protein–DNA contacts observed in the structure. Based on the structure, we conclude that the WOPR domain represents a new family of DNA-binding proteins, one with key roles for fungal morphogenesis and pathogenesis.

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Molecular interactions between sugar beet and Polymyxa betae during its life cycle - Desoignies - 2014 - Annals of Applied Biology - Wiley Online Library

Molecular interactions between sugar beet and Polymyxa betae during its life cycle - Desoignies - 2014 - Annals of Applied Biology - Wiley Online Library | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it

Polymyxa betae is a biotrophic obligate sugar beet parasite that belongs to plasmodiophorids. The infection of sugar beet roots by this parasite is asymptomatic, except when it transmits Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV), the causal agent of rhizomania. To date, there has been little work on P. betae–sugar beet molecular interactions, mainly because of the obligate nature of the parasite and also because research on rhizomania has tended to focus on the virus. In this study, we investigated these interactions through differential transcript analysis, using suppressive subtractive hybridization. The analysis included 76 P. betae and 120 sugar beet expressed sequence tags (ESTs). The expression of selected ESTs from both organisms was monitored during the protist life cycle, revealing a potential role of two P. betae proteins, profilin and a Von Willebrand factor domain-containing protein, in the early phase of infection. This study also revealed an over-expression of some sugar beet genes involved in defence, such as those encoding PR proteins, stress resistance proteins or lectins, especially during the plasmodial stage of the P. betae life cycle. In addition to providing new information on the molecular aspects of P. betae–sugar beet interactions, this study also enabled previously unknown ESTs of P. betae to be sequenced, thus enhancing our knowledge of the genome of this protist.

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Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae Woronin) – an agricultural and biological challenge worldwide

Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae Woronin) – an agricultural and biological challenge worldwide | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it
(2014). Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae Woronin) – an agricultural and biological challenge worldwide. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology: Vol. 36, Clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae) on canola and other Brassica species: Disease development, epidemiology and management, pp. 5-18. doi: 10.1080/07060661.2013.875487
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Current overview on clubroot resarch.

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bioRxiv: Crowdsourced analysis of ash and ash dieback through the Open Ash Dieback project: A year 1 report on datasets and analyses contributed by a self-organising community (2014)

bioRxiv: Crowdsourced analysis of ash and ash dieback through the Open Ash Dieback project: A year 1 report on datasets and analyses contributed by a self-organising community (2014) | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it

Ash dieback is a fungal disease of ash trees caused by Hymenoscyphus pseudoalbidus that has swept across Europe in the last two decades and is a significant threat to the ash population. This emergent pathogen has been relatively poorly studied and little is known about its genetic make-up. In response to the arrival of this dangerous pathogen in the UK we took the unusual step of providing an open access database and initial sequence datasets to the scientific community for analysis prior to performing an analysis of our own. Our goal was to crowdsource genomic and other analyses and create a community analysing this pathogen. In this report on the evolution of the community and data and analysis obtained in the first year of this activity, we describe the nature and the volume of the contributions and reveal some preliminary insights into the genome and biology of H. pseudoalbidus that emerged. In particular our nascent community generated a first-pass genome assembly containing abundant collapsed AT-rich repeats indicating a typically complex genome structure. Our open science and crowdsourcing effort has brought a wealth of new knowledge about this emergent pathogen within a short time-frame. Our community endeavour highlights the positive impact that open, collaborative approaches can have on fast, responsive modern science.


Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL
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Niklaus Grunwald's curator insight, April 26, 2014 12:46 PM

An example of crowdsourcing genomics ...

Rescooped by Sigrid Neuhauser from MycorWeb Plant-Microbe Interactions
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Soil fungal communities of grasslands are environmentally structured at a regional scale in the Alps

Soil fungal communities of grasslands are environmentally structured at a regional scale in the Alps | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it

Studying patterns of species distributions along elevation gradients is frequently used to identify the primary factors that determine the distribution, diversity and assembly of species. However, despite their crucial role in ecosystem functioning, our understanding of the distribution of below-ground fungi is still limited, calling for more comprehensive studies of fungal biogeography along environmental gradients at various scales (from regional to global). Here, we investigated the richness of taxa of soil fungi and their phylogenetic diversity across a wide range of grassland types along a 2800 m elevation gradient at a large number of sites (213), stratified across a region of the western Swiss Alps (700 km2). We used 454 pyro-sequencing to obtain fungal sequences that were clustered into operational taxonomic units (OTUs). The OTU diversity-area relationship revealed uneven distribution of fungal taxa across the study area (i.e. not all taxa are everywhere) and fine-scale spatial clustering. Fungal richness and phylogenetic diversity were found to be higher in lower temperatures and higher moisture conditions. Climatic and soil characteristics as well as plant community composition were related to OTU alpha, beta and phylogenetic diversity, with distinct fungal lineages suggesting distinct ecological tolerances. Soil fungi, thus, show lineage-specific biogeographic patterns, even at a regional scale, and follow environmental determinism, mediated by interactions with other taxonomic groups, such as plants.


Via Francis Martin
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A field guide to whole-genome sequencing, assembly and annotation

A field guide to whole-genome sequencing, assembly and annotation | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it

Genome sequencing projects were long confined to biomedical model organisms and required the concerted effort of large consortia. Rapid progress in high-throughput sequencing technology and the simultaneous development of bioinformatic tools have democratized the field. It is now within reach for individual research groups in the eco-evolutionary and conservation community to generate de novo draft genome sequences for any organism of choice. Because of the cost and considerable effort involved in such an endeavour, the important first step is to thoroughly consider whether a genome sequence is necessary for addressing the biological question at hand. Once this decision is taken, a genome project requires careful planning with respect to the organism involved and the intended quality of the genome draft. Here, we briefly review the state of the art within this field and provide a step-by-step introduction to the workflow involved in genome sequencing, assembly and annotation with particular reference to large and complex genomes. This tutorial is targeted at scientists with a background in conservation genetics, but more generally, provides useful practical guidance for researchers engaging in whole-genome sequencing projects.


Via Francis Martin
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Laser Microdissection Coupled to Transcriptional Profiling of Arabidopsis Roots Inoculated by Plasmodiophora brassicae Indicates a Role for Brassinosteroids in Clubroot Formation

Laser Microdissection Coupled to Transcriptional Profiling of Arabidopsis Roots Inoculated by Plasmodiophora brassicae Indicates a Role for Brassinosteroids in Clubroot Formation | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it

The clubroot disease caused by the obligate biotrophic protist Plasmodiophora brassicae on host plants of the Brassicaceae family is characterized by enhanced cell division and cell expansion. Since a typical root section of an infected plant always includes different stages of the pathogen as well as uninfected cells, we were interested in investigating specific developmental stages of the pathogen and their effect on host transcriptional changes. We extended previous microarray studies on whole roots by using laser microdissection and pressure catapulting (LMPC) to isolate individual cells harboring defined developmental stages of the pathogen. In addition, we compared the central cylinder of infected plants with that of control plants. We were especially interested in elucidating the stage-specific hormonal network. The up-regulation of genes involved in auxin and cytokinin metabolism and signaling was confirmed. In addition, we found evidence that brassinosteroid (BR) synthesis and signal perception genes were in many cases up-regulated in enlarged cells and the central cylinder. This was confirmed by quantitative PCR. Treatment of wild-type plants with the BR biosynthesis inhibitor propiconazole reduced gall formation, and the analysis of the BR receptor mutant bri1-6 revealed less severe gall formation than in the respective wild type. Our results identify novel hormone pathways involved in clubroot development. Using LMPC to generate pools of homogeneous cell type populations combined with transcriptome analysis has been very useful to elucidate the regulation of gall growth by this obligate biotropic pathogen in a cell- and stage-specific manner.

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Heteroconium chaetospira Induces Resistance to Clubroot via Upregulation of Host Genes Involved in Jasmonic Acid, Ethylene, and Auxin Biosynthesis

Heteroconium chaetospira Induces Resistance to Clubroot via Upregulation of Host Genes Involved in Jasmonic Acid, Ethylene, and Auxin Biosynthesis | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it
An endophytic fungus, Heteroconium chaetospira isolate BC2HB1 (Hc), suppressed clubroot (Plasmodiophora brassicae -Pb) on canola in growth-cabinet trials. Confocal microscopy demonstrated that Hc penetrated canola roots and colonized cortical tissues. Based on qPCR analysis, the amount of Hc DNA found in canola roots at 14 days after treatment was negatively correlated (r = 0.92, P<0.001) with the severity of clubroot at 5 weeks after treatment at a low (2×105 spores pot−1) but not high (2×105 spores pot−1) dose of pathogen inoculum. Transcript levels of nine B. napus (Bn) genes in roots treated with Hc plus Pb, Pb alone and a nontreated control were analyzed using qPCR supplemented with biochemical analysis for the activity of phenylalanine ammonia lyases (PAL). These genes encode enzymes involved in several biosynthetic pathways related potentially to plant defence. Hc plus Pb increased the activity of PAL but not that of the other two genes (BnCCR and BnOPCL) involved also in phenylpropanoid biosynthesis, relative to Pb inoculation alone. In contrast, expression of several genes involved in the jasmonic acid (BnOPR2), ethylene (BnACO), auxin (BnAAO1), and PR-2 protein (BnPR-2) biosynthesis were upregulated by 63, 48, 3, and 3 fold, respectively, by Hc plus Pb over Pb alone. This indicates that these genes may be involved in inducing resistance in canola by Hc against clubroot. The upregulation of BnAAO1 appears to be related to both pathogenesis of clubroot and induced defence mechanisms in canola roots. This is the first report on regulation of specific host genes involved in induced plant resistance by a non-mycorrhizal endophyte.
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An Illumina metabarcoding pipeline for fungi - Bálint - 2014 - Ecology and Evolution - Wiley Online Library

An Illumina metabarcoding pipeline for fungi - Bálint - 2014 - Ecology and Evolution - Wiley Online Library | plasmodiophorids | Scoop.it
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