April 21, 2020  |  

Genome Analysis of Hypomyces perniciosus, the Causal Agent of Wet Bubble Disease of Button Mushroom (Agaricus bisporus).

The mycoparasitic fungus Hypomyces perniciosus causes wet bubble disease of mushrooms, particularly Agaricus bisporus. The genome of a highly virulent strain of H. perniciosus HP10 was sequenced and compared to three other fungi from the order Hypocreales that cause disease on A. bisporus. H. perniciosus genome is ~44 Mb, encodes 10,077 genes and enriched with transposable elements up to 25.3%. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that H. perniciosus is closely related to Cladobotryum protrusum and diverged from their common ancestor ~156.7 million years ago. H. perniciosus has few secreted proteins compared to C. protrusum and Trichoderma virens, but significantly expanded protein families of transporters, protein kinases, CAZymes (GH 18), peptidases, cytochrome P450, and SMs that are essential for mycoparasitism and adaptation to harsh environments. This study provides insights into H. perniciosus evolution and pathogenesis and will contribute to the development of effective disease management strategies to control wet bubble disease.


April 21, 2020  |  

Genome Sequencing of Cladobotryum protrusum Provides Insights into the Evolution and Pathogenic Mechanisms of the Cobweb Disease Pathogen on Cultivated Mushroom.

Cladobotryum protrusum is one of the mycoparasites that cause cobweb disease on cultivated edible mushrooms. However, the molecular mechanisms of evolution and pathogenesis of C. protrusum on mushrooms are largely unknown. Here, we report a high-quality genome sequence of C. protrusum using the single-molecule, real-time sequencing platform of PacBio and perform a comparative analysis with closely related fungi in the family Hypocreaceae. The C. protrusum genome, the first complete genome to be sequenced in the genus Cladobotryum, is 39.09 Mb long, with an N50 of 4.97 Mb, encoding 11,003 proteins. The phylogenomic analysis confirmed its inclusion in Hypocreaceae, with its evolutionary divergence time estimated to be ~170.1 million years ago. The genome encodes a large and diverse set of genes involved in secreted peptidases, carbohydrate-active enzymes, cytochrome P450 enzymes, pathogen?host interactions, mycotoxins, and pigments. Moreover, C. protrusum harbors arrays of genes with the potential to produce bioactive secondary metabolites and stress response-related proteins that are significant for adaptation to hostile environments. Knowledge of the genome will foster a better understanding of the biology of C. protrusum and mycoparasitism in general, as well as help with the development of effective disease control strategies to minimize economic losses from cobweb disease in cultivated edible mushrooms.


September 22, 2019  |  

Identification of putative coffee rust mycoparasites using single molecule DNA sequencing of infected pustules.

The interaction of crop pests with their natural enemies is a fundament to their control. Natural enemies of fungal pathogens of crops are poorly known relative to those of insect pests despite the diversity of fungal pathogens and their economic importance. Currently, many regions across Latin America are experiencing unprecedented epidemics of coffee rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Identification of natural enemies of coffee rust could aid in developing management strategies or in pinpointing species that could be used for biocontrol. Here we characterize fungal communities associated with coffee rust lesions by single molecule DNA sequencing of fungal ribosomal RNA barcodes from leaf discs (˜28 mm(2)) containing rust lesions and control discs with no rust lesions. The leaf disc communities were hyper-diverse in fungi, with up to 57 taxa per control disc, and the diversity was only slightly reduced in rust-infected discs. However, geography had a greater influence on the fungal community than whether the disk was infected by coffee rust. Through comparisons between control and rust-infected leaf discs, as well as taxonomic criteria, we identified 15 putative mycoparasitic fungi. These fungi are concentrated in fungal family Cordycipitaceae and order Tremellales. These data emphasize the complexity of fungal diversity of unknown ecological function within a leaf that might influence plant disease epidemics or lead to the development of species for biocontrol of fungal disease. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


September 21, 2019  |  

A distinct and genetically diverse lineage of the hybrid fungal pathogen Verticillium longisporum population causes stem striping in British oilseed rape.

Population genetic structures illustrate evolutionary trajectories of organisms adapting to differential environmental conditions. Verticillium stem striping disease on oilseed rape was mainly observed in continental Europe, but has recently emerged in the United Kingdom. The disease is caused by the hybrid fungal species Verticillium longisporum that originates from at least three separate hybridization events, yet hybrids between Verticillium progenitor species A1 and D1 are mainly responsible for Verticillium stem striping. We reveal a hitherto un-described dichotomy within V. longisporum lineage A1/D1 that correlates with the geographic distribution of the isolates with an ‘A1/D1 West’ and an ‘A1/D1 East’ cluster. Genome comparison between representatives of the A1/D1 West and East clusters excluded population distinctiveness through separate hybridization events. Remarkably, the A1/D1 West population that is genetically more diverse than the entire A1/D1 East cluster caused the sudden emergence of Verticillium stem striping in the UK, whereas in continental Europe Verticillium stem striping is predominantly caused by the more genetically uniform A1/D1 East population. The observed genetic diversity of the A1/D1 West population argues against a recent introduction of the pathogen into the UK, but rather suggests that the pathogen previously established in the UK and remained latent or unnoticed as oilseed rape pathogen until recently.© 2017 The Authors. Environmental Microbiology published by Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


July 19, 2019  |  

Chaos of rearrangements in the mating-type chromosomes of the anther-smut fungus Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae.

Sex chromosomes in plants and animals and fungal mating-type chromosomes often show exceptional genome features, with extensive suppression of homologous recombination and cytological differentiation between members of the diploid chromosome pair. Despite strong interest in the genetics of these chromosomes, their large regions of suppressed recombination often are enriched in transposable elements and therefore can be challenging to assemble. Here we show that the latest improvements of the PacBio sequencing yield assembly of the whole genome of the anther-smut fungus, Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae (the pathogenic fungus causing anther-smut disease of Silene latifolia), into finished chromosomes or chromosome arms, even for the repeat-rich mating-type chromosomes and centromeres. Suppressed recombination of the mating-type chromosomes is revealed to span nearly 90% of their lengths, with extreme levels of rearrangements, transposable element accumulation, and differentiation between the two mating types. We observed no correlation between allelic divergence and physical position in the nonrecombining regions of the mating-type chromosomes. This may result from gene conversion or from rearrangements of ancient evolutionary strata, i.e., successive steps of suppressed recombination. Centromeres were found to be composed mainly of copia-like transposable elements and to possess specific minisatellite repeats identical between the different chromosomes. We also identified subtelomeric motifs. In addition, extensive signs of degeneration were detected in the nonrecombining regions in the form of transposable element accumulation and of hundreds of gene losses on each mating-type chromosome. Furthermore, our study highlights the potential of the latest breakthrough PacBio chemistry to resolve complex genome architectures. Copyright © 2015 by the Genetics Society of America.


July 19, 2019  |  

TAL effectors and activation of predicted host targets distinguish Asian from African strains of the rice pathogen Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola while strict conservation suggests universal importance of five TAL effectors.

Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzicola (Xoc) causes the increasingly important disease bacterial leaf streak of rice (BLS) in part by type III delivery of repeat-rich transcription activator-like (TAL) effectors to upregulate host susceptibility genes. By pathogen whole genome, single molecule, real-time sequencing and host RNA sequencing, we compared TAL effector content and rice transcriptional responses across 10 geographically diverse Xoc strains. TAL effector content is surprisingly conserved overall, yet distinguishes Asian from African isolates. Five TAL effectors are conserved across all strains. In a prior laboratory assay in rice cv. Nipponbare, only two contributed to virulence in strain BLS256 but the strict conservation indicates all five may be important, in different rice genotypes or in the field. Concatenated and aligned, TAL effector content across strains largely reflects relationships based on housekeeping genes, suggesting predominantly vertical transmission. Rice transcriptional responses did not reflect these relationships, and on average, only 28% of genes upregulated and 22% of genes downregulated by a strain are up- and down- regulated (respectively) by all strains. However, when only known TAL effector targets were considered, the relationships resembled those of the TAL effectors. Toward identifying new targets, we used the TAL effector-DNA recognition code to predict effector binding elements in promoters of genes upregulated by each strain, but found that for every strain, all upregulated genes had at least one. Filtering with a classifier we developed previously decreases the number of predicted binding elements across the genome, suggesting that it may reduce false positives among upregulated genes. Applying this filter and eliminating genes for which upregulation did not strictly correlate with presence of the corresponding TAL effector, we generated testable numbers of candidate targets for four of the five strictly conserved TAL effectors.


July 19, 2019  |  

Variable genetic architectures produce virtually identical molecules in bacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants.

Small molecules produced by Actinobacteria have played a prominent role in both drug discovery and organic chemistry. As part of a larger study of the actinobacterial symbionts of fungus-growing ants, we discovered a small family of three previously unreported piperazic acid-containing cyclic depsipeptides, gerumycins A-C. The gerumycins are slightly smaller versions of dentigerumycin, a cyclic depsipeptide that selectively inhibits a common fungal pathogen, Escovopsis. We had previously identified this molecule from a Pseudonocardia associated with Apterostigma dentigerum, and now we report the molecule from an associate of the more highly derived ant Trachymyrmex cornetzi. The three previously unidentified compounds, gerumycins A-C, have essentially identical structures and were produced by two different symbiotic Pseudonocardia spp. from ants in the genus Apterostigma found in both Panama and Costa Rica. To understand the similarities and differences in the biosynthetic pathways that produced these closely related molecules, the genomes of the three producing Pseudonocardia were sequenced and the biosynthetic gene clusters identified. This analysis revealed that dramatically different biosynthetic architectures, including genomic islands, a plasmid, and the use of spatially separated genetic loci, can lead to molecules with virtually identical core structures. A plausible evolutionary model that unifies these disparate architectures is presented.


July 19, 2019  |  

SMRT RenSeq protocol

R gene enrichment and Sequencing (RenSeq, Jupe et al. 2013) is a genome complexity reduction method which allows to enrich for nucleotide-binding, leucine reach repeat (NLR) type plant disease resistance genes prior to sequencing. RenSeq was established and successfully used with Illumina platforms (Jupe et al. 2013, Andolfo et al. 2014), however the repetitive nature of NLR genes hampered de novo assembly of this family. Here we describe a protocol which enables to prepare long enriched libraries that are suitable for Pacific Biosciences Single-Molecule Real Time (SMRT) sequencing. Reads Of Inserts (ROI) generated with this protocol are around 3-4 kb in length (longer than the average NLR sequence). These long reads are especially well suited for de novo assembly of whole NLR genes including their regulatory elements


July 19, 2019  |  

Extreme sensitivity to ultraviolet light in the fungal pathogen causing white-nose syndrome of bats.

Bat white-nose syndrome (WNS), caused by the fungal pathogen Pseudogymnoascus destructans, has decimated North American hibernating bats since its emergence in 2006. Here, we utilize comparative genomics to examine the evolutionary history of this pathogen in comparison to six closely related nonpathogenic species. P. destructans displays a large reduction in carbohydrate-utilizing enzymes (CAZymes) and in the predicted secretome (~50%), and an increase in lineage-specific genes. The pathogen has lost a key enzyme, UVE1, in the alternate excision repair (AER) pathway, which is known to contribute to repair of DNA lesions induced by ultraviolet (UV) light. Consistent with a nonfunctional AER pathway, P. destructans is extremely sensitive to UV light, as well as the DNA alkylating agent methyl methanesulfonate (MMS). The differential susceptibility of P. destructans to UV light in comparison to other hibernacula-inhabiting fungi represents a potential “Achilles’ heel” of P. destructans that might be exploited for treatment of bats with WNS.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome sequence of Penicillium capsulatum strain ATCC 48735, a rare Penicillium species used in paper manufactories but that recently caused invasive infection.

The genus Penicillium phylogenetically belongs to Trichocomaceae, with approximately 300 reported species. The majority of these species are saprobic and commonly occur in soil. This paper reports the genome sequence of Penicillium capsulatum strain ATCC 48735, a rare Penicillium species used in paper manufactories and that was recently reported as a human-invasive opportunist. Copyright © 2015 Yang et al.


July 7, 2019  |  

Comparative genomics and metabolic profiling of the genus Lysobacter.

Lysobacter species are Gram-negative bacteria widely distributed in soil, plant and freshwater habitats. Lysobacter owes its name to the lytic effects on other microorganisms. To better understand their ecology and interactions with other (micro)organisms, five Lysobacter strains representing the four species L. enzymogenes, L. capsici, L. gummosus and L. antibioticus were subjected to genomics and metabolomics analyses.Comparative genomics revealed a diverse genome content among the Lysobacter species with a core genome of 2,891 and a pangenome of 10,028 coding sequences. Genes encoding type I, II, III, IV, V secretion systems and type IV pili were highly conserved in all five genomes, whereas type VI secretion systems were only found in L. enzymogenes and L. gummosus. Genes encoding components of the flagellar apparatus were absent in the two sequenced L. antibioticus strains. The genomes contained a large number of genes encoding extracellular enzymes including chitinases, glucanases and peptidases. Various nonribosomal peptide synthase (NRPS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) gene clusters encoding putative bioactive metabolites were identified but only few of these clusters were shared between the different species. Metabolic profiling by imaging mass spectrometry complemented, in part, the in silico genome analyses and allowed visualisation of the spatial distribution patterns of several secondary metabolites produced by or induced in Lysobacter species during interactions with the soil-borne fungus Rhizoctonia solani.Our work shows that mining the genomes of Lysobacter species in combination with metabolic profiling provides novel insights into the genomic and metabolic potential of this widely distributed but understudied and versatile bacterial genus.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome Sequence of Pseudomonas brassicacearum DF41.

Pseudomonas brassicacearum DF41, a Gram-negative soil bacterium, is able to suppress the fungal pathogen Sclerotinia sclerotiorum through a process known as biological control. Here, we present a 6.8-Mb assembly of its genome, which is the second fully assembled genome of a P. brassicacearum strain.


July 7, 2019  |  

Signature gene expression reveals novel clues to the molecular mechanisms of dimorphic transition in Penicillium marneffei.

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.


July 7, 2019  |  

Whole genome sequencing analysis of the cutaneous pathogenic yeast Malassezia restricta and identification of the major lipase expressed on the scalp of patients with dandruff.

Malassezia species are opportunistic pathogenic fungi that are frequently associated with seborrhoeic dermatitis, including dandruff. Most Malassezia species are lipid dependent, a property that is compensated by breaking down host sebum into fatty acids by lipases. In this study, we aimed to sequence and analyse the whole genome of Malassezia restricta KCTC 27527, a clinical isolate from a Korean patient with severe dandruff, to search for lipase orthologues and identify the lipase that is the most frequently expressed on the scalp of patients with dandruff. The genome of M. restricta KCTC 27527 was sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq and PacBio platforms. Lipase orthologues were identified by comparison with known lipase genes in the genomes of Malassezia globosa and Malassezia sympodialis. The expression of the identified lipase genes was directly evaluated in swab samples from the scalps of 56 patients with dandruff. We found that, among the identified lipase-encoding genes, the gene encoding lipase homolog MRES_03670, named LIP5 in this study, was the most frequently expressed lipase in the swab samples. Our study provides an overview of the genome of a clinical isolate of M. restricta and fundamental information for elucidating the role of lipases during fungus-host interaction.© 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


July 7, 2019  |  

Genome analysis of three Pneumocystis species reveals adaptation mechanisms to life exclusively in mammalian hosts.

Pneumocystis jirovecii is a major cause of life-threatening pneumonia in immunosuppressed patients including transplant recipients and those with HIV/AIDS, yet surprisingly little is known about the biology of this fungal pathogen. Here we report near complete genome assemblies for three Pneumocystis species that infect humans, rats and mice. Pneumocystis genomes are highly compact relative to other fungi, with substantial reductions of ribosomal RNA genes, transporters, transcription factors and many metabolic pathways, but contain expansions of surface proteins, especially a unique and complex surface glycoprotein superfamily, as well as proteases and RNA processing proteins. Unexpectedly, the key fungal cell wall components chitin and outer chain N-mannans are absent, based on genome content and experimental validation. Our findings suggest that Pneumocystis has developed unique mechanisms of adaptation to life exclusively in mammalian hosts, including dependence on the lungs for gas and nutrients and highly efficient strategies to escape both host innate and acquired immune defenses.


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