alexa Genome expansion and gene loss in powdery mildew fungi reveal tradeoffs in extreme parasitism.
Microbiology

Microbiology

Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology

Author(s): Spanu PD, Abbott JC, Amselem J, Burgis TA, Soanes DM,

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Abstract Powdery mildews are phytopathogens whose growth and reproduction are entirely dependent on living plant cells. The molecular basis of this life-style, obligate biotrophy, remains unknown. We present the genome analysis of barley powdery mildew, Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei (Blumeria), as well as a comparison with the analysis of two powdery mildews pathogenic on dicotyledonous plants. These genomes display massive retrotransposon proliferation, genome-size expansion, and gene losses. The missing genes encode enzymes of primary and secondary metabolism, carbohydrate-active enzymes, and transporters, probably reflecting their redundancy in an exclusively biotrophic life-style. Among the 248 candidate effectors of pathogenesis identified in the Blumeria genome, very few (less than 10) define a core set conserved in all three mildews, suggesting that most effectors represent species-specific adaptations. This article was published in Science and referenced in Journal of Plant Pathology & Microbiology

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