Scientific Publications

Genome sequence and analysis of the Irish potato famine pathogen Phytophthora infestans.

Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsHaas, BJ, Kamoun S., Zody MC, Jiang RH, Handsaker RE, Cano LM, Grabherr M., Kodira CD, Raffaele S., Torto-Alalibo T., Bozkurt TO, Ah-Fong AM, Alvarado L., Anderson VL, Armstrong MR, Avrova A., Baxter L., Beynon J., Boevink PC, Bollmann SR, Bos JI, Bulone V., Cai G., Cakir C., Carrington JC, Chawner M., Conti L., Costanzo S., Ewan R., Fahlgren N., Fischbach MA, Fugelstad J., Gilroy EM, Gnerre S., Green PJ, Grenville-Briggs LJ, Griffith J., Grünwald NJ, Horn K., Horner NR, Hu CH, Huitema E., Jeong DH, Jones AM, Jones JD, Jones RW, Karlsson EK, Kunjeti SG, Lamour K., Liu Z., Ma L., Maclean D., Chibucos MC, McDonald H., McWalters J., Meijer HJ, Morgan W., Morris PF, Munro CA, O'Neill K., Ospina-Giraldo M., Pinzón A., Pritchard L., Ramsahoye B., Ren Q., Restrepo S., Roy S., Sadanandom A., Savidor A., Schornack S., Schwartz DC, Schumann UD, Schwessinger B., Seyer L., Sharpe T., Silvar C., Song J., Studholme DJ, Sykes S., Thines M., van de Vondervoort PJ, Phuntumart V., Wawra S., Weide R., Win J., Young C., Zhou S., Fry W., Meyers BC, van West P., Ristaino J., Govers F., Birch PR, Whisson SC, Judelson HS, and Nusbaum C.
AbstractPhytophthora infestans is the most destructive pathogen of potato and a model organism for the oomycetes, a distinct lineage of fungus-like eukaryotes that are related to organisms such as brown algae and diatoms. As the agent of the Irish potato famine in the mid-nineteenth century, P. infestans has had a tremendous effect on human history, resulting in famine and population displacement. To this day, it affects world agriculture by causing the most destructive disease of potato, the fourth largest food crop and a critical alternative to the major cereal crops for feeding the world's population. Current annual worldwide potato crop losses due to late blight are conservatively estimated at $6.7 billion. Management of this devastating pathogen is challenged by its remarkable speed of adaptation to control strategies such as genetically resistant cultivars. Here we report the sequence of the P. infestans genome, which at approximately 240 megabases (Mb) is by far the largest and most complex genome sequenced so far in the chromalveolates. Its expansion results from a proliferation of repetitive DNA accounting for approximately 74% of the genome. Comparison with two other Phytophthora genomes showed rapid turnover and extensive expansion of specific families of secreted disease effector proteins, including many genes that are induced during infection or are predicted to have activities that alter host physiology. These fast-evolving effector genes are localized to highly dynamic and expanded regions of the P. infestans genome. This probably plays a crucial part in the rapid adaptability of the pathogen to host plants and underpins its evolutionary potential.
Year of Publication2009
Date Published (YYYY/MM/DD)2009/09/17
ISSN Number0028-0836