Large-scale gene discovery in the oomycete Phytophthora infestans reveals likely components of phytopathogenicity shared with true fungi

Thomas A. Randall, Rex A. Dwyer, Edgar Huitema, Katinka Beyer, Cristina Cvitanich, Hemant Kelkar, Audrey M. V. Ah Fong, Krista Gates, Samuel Roberts, Einat Yatzkan, Thomas Gaffney, Marcus Law, Antonino Testa, Trudy Torto-Alalibo, Meng Zhang, Li Zheng, Elisabeth Mueller, John Windass, Andres Binder, Paul R. J. BirchUlrich Gisi, Francine Govers, Neil A. Gow, Felix Mauch, Pieter van West, Mark E. Waugh, Jun Yu, Thomas Boller, Sophien Kamoun, Stephen T. Lam, Howard S. Judelson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    123 Citations (Scopus)


    To overview the gene content of the important pathogen Phytophthora infestans, large-scale cDNA and genomic sequencing was performed. A set of 75,757 high-quality expressed sequence tags (ESTs) from P infestans was obtained from 20 cDNA libraries representing a broad range of growth conditions, stress responses, and developmental stages. These included libraries from R infestans-potato and -tomato interactions, from which 963 pathogen ESTs were identified. To complement the ESTs, onefold coverage of the P infestans genome was obtained and regions of coding potential identified. A unigene set of 18,256 sequences was derived from the EST and genomic data and characterized for potential functions, stage-specific patterns of expression, and codon bias. Cluster analysis of ESTs revealed major differences between the expressed gene content of mycelial and spore-related stages, and affinities between some growth conditions. Comparisons with databases of fungal pathogenicity genes revealed conserved elements of pathogenicity, such as class III pectate lyases, despite the considerable evolutionary distance between oomycetes and fungi. Thirty-seven genes encoding components of flagella also were identified. Several genes not anticipated to occur in oomycetes were detected, including chitin synthases, phosphagen kinases, and a bacterial-type FtsZ cell-division protein. The sequence data described are available in a searchable public database.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)229-243
    Number of pages15
    JournalMolecular Plant - Microbe Interactions
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005


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