Research Article

Phytophthora Genome Sequences Uncover Evolutionary Origins and Mechanisms of Pathogenesis

Science  01 Sep 2006:
Vol. 313, Issue 5791, pp. 1261-1266
DOI: 10.1126/science.1128796

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Abstract

Draft genome sequences have been determined for the soybean pathogen Phytophthora sojae and the sudden oak death pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. Oömycetes such as these Phytophthora species share the kingdom Stramenopila with photosynthetic algae such as diatoms, and the presence of many Phytophthora genes of probable phototroph origin supports a photosynthetic ancestry for the stramenopiles. Comparison of the two species' genomes reveals a rapid expansion and diversification of many protein families associated with plant infection such as hydrolases, ABC transporters, protein toxins, proteinase inhibitors, and, in particular, a superfamily of 700 proteins with similarity to known oömycete avirulence genes.

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