This research increases understanding of the ability of these fungi to infect numerous plants. Study of the genomes will eventually lead to new methods in an integrated battle against the two major pathogens. All results have been published in the online edition of Plos Genetics of 18 August 2011.
White and gray mold rot are two diseases that affect agricultural plants (sunflower, onion, grapevine, tomato, colza, etc.) both during cultivation and after harvesting. They are caused by microscopic fungi, respectively Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea. The two very closely related species quickly kill plant cells during infection, facilitating colonization of dead tissues; they are known as necrotrophic pathogens.
Both in France and around the world, white and gray mold rot has resulted in considerable economic losses and significant production costs related to the application of fungicidal treatments. New regulations also require finding alternatives to the use of chemicals. In this context, improved understanding of the strategies these fungi use to infect plants is essential.
To compare S. sclerotiorum and B. cinerea and better understand the strategies used in pathogenesis, sequencing of their genomes, which are highly similar, was completed by Genoscope (CEA, France) and the Broad Institute (USA) with the help of a consortium of international laboratories led by INRA. Analysis of their genes shows that they have an impressive arsenal of enzymes with which they can easily decompose the pectin on which they live. This characteristic is related to the fact that they develop essentially on the aerial parts and fruit of plants that are rich in pectin (colza, grapevine, strawberry). Most genes associated with the infection are similar in the two species, including those involved in plant cell wall degradation.
There are also significant differences. There are twice as many secondary metabolism genes, i.e., those involved in the production of bioactive molecules (toxins, signaling components and antibiotics), in B. cinerea as there are in S. sclerotiorum. This diversity may lead to various infectious mechanisms (necrosis-inducing toxins in Botrytis). The two species also differ in their mode of sexual reproduction, S. sclerotiorum is self-fertile (homothallism) while B. cinerea requires a sexual partner of the opposite type (heterothallism). This is explained by some major differences observed in the sequence and organization of genes involved in this process. In practice, these differences in reproduction have an important impact on epidemiology and the methods that may be developed to control these two fungi.
Analysis of the genomes provides valuable information about how S. sclerotiorum and B. cinerea evolved. They also lay the foundations for functional analyses that may explain the necrotrophic nature of the fungi and their distinctive reproductive characteristics, both of which contribute to their ability to infect plants. In the future, further study of the molecular mechanisms involved in the necrotrophic nature of the fungi should lead to the development of new, integrated methods for sustainable management of the diseases.
Centre INRA de Versailles-GrignonMuriel Viaud
Centre INRA de Versailles-GrignonJoëlle Amselem
Carolyn Anderson | alfa
At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History
New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy