The Parauncinula polyspora Draft Genome Provides Insights into Patterns of Gene Erosion and Genome Expansion in Powdery Mildew Fungi

Frantzeskakis, Lamprinos and Nemeth, Mark Z. and Barsoum, Mirna and Kusch, Stefan and Kiss, Levente and Takamatsu, Susumu and Panstruga, Ralph (2019) The Parauncinula polyspora Draft Genome Provides Insights into Patterns of Gene Erosion and Genome Expansion in Powdery Mildew Fungi. mBio, 10 (5 - Articl e01692-19). pp. 1-17. ISSN 2161-2129

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Abstract

Due to their comparatively small genome size and short generation time, fungi are exquisite model systems to study eukaryotic genome evolution. Powdery mildew fungi present an exceptional case because of their strict host dependency (termed obligate biotrophy) and the atypical size of their genomes (>100 Mb). This size expansion is largely due to the pervasiveness of transposable elements on 70% of the genome and is associated with the loss of multiple conserved ascomycete genes required for a free-living lifestyle. To date, little is known about the mechanisms that drove these changes, and information on ancestral powdery mildew genomes is lacking. We report genome analysis of the early-diverged and exclusively sexually reproducing powdery mildew fungus Parauncinula polyspora, which we performed on the basis of a natural leaf epiphytic metapopulation sample. In contrast to other sequenced species of this taxonomic group, the assembled P. polyspora draft genome is surprisingly small (<30 Mb), has a higher content of conserved ascomycete genes, and is sparsely equipped with transposons (<10%), despite the conserved absence of a common defense mechanism involved in constraining repetitive elements. We speculate that transposable element spread might have been limited by this pathogen’s unique reproduction strategy and host features and further hypothesize that the loss of conserved ascomycete genes may promote the evolutionary isolation and host niche specialization of powdery mildew fungi. Limitations associated with this evolutionary trajectory might have been in part counteracted by the evolution of plastic, transposon-rich genomes and/or the expansion of gene families encoding secreted virulence proteins.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Crop Health (24 Mar 2014 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment - Centre for Crop Health (24 Mar 2014 -)
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2020 05:13
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2020 01:01
Uncontrolled Keywords: genome evolution, plant pathogen, fungal genomics, transposable elements, repeat-induced point mutation
Fields of Research : 06 Biological Sciences > 0605 Microbiology > 060505 Mycology
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960413 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments
Funding Details:
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01692-19
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37777

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