Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genome of First Fungal Pathogen Unveiled

05.03.2004


Geneticists at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences and Policy (IGSP) and the University of Basel have unveiled the complete genome sequence of the pathogenic plant fungus Ashbya gossypii, which infects agricultural crops including cotton and citrus fruits in the tropics. The fungus has the smallest genome yet characterized among free-living eukaryotes. Eukaryotes are the single-celled and multicellular organisms that include fungi, plants and animals.



The team -- led by Fred Dietrich, Ph.D., of the IGSP’s Center for Genome Technology, and Peter Phillipsen, Ph.D., of the University of Basel -- reported its findings online in the March 4, 2004, Science Express, the online version of the journal Science. The work was completed with the funding and collaboration of Novartis (now Syngenta) in Research Triangle Park, N.C. The researchers have no financial ties to Novartis or Syngenta.

The sequencing of the fungal genome has already shed light on the evolution of Saccharomyces cerevisiae -- the single-celled baker’s yeast that scientists rely on for the study of many basic questions in cell biology. Furthermore, understanding the infectious microbe’s genetic instructions might allow scientists to tease out the fundamental features responsible for some fungi’s ability to cause disease, the researchers said.


"We expect many similarities in function among all types of fungal pathogens -- whether they infect plants or humans," said Dietrich, first author of the study. "Understanding one will provide insight into fungal pathogens in general in terms of the forces that drive them."

Ashbya’s stripped-down genome -- containing just 9.2 million DNA base pairs, the fundamental building blocks of inheritance -- will further simplify the task of deciphering genes and their functions, he added. The genomes of other important fungal pathogens can include as many as 200 million base pairs, more than 20 times that of the Ashbya genome. In comparison, the genetic blueprints contained in each human cell run to some 6 billion DNA base pairs.

The researchers first sequenced the Ashbya genome three times over in many segments and assembled those pieces into the sequences of the fungus’ seven chromosomes. The team then filled in any remaining gaps in the initial scaffold through additional sequencing. By comparing the sequence information to the yeast genome, the investigators identified the location of genes along the chromosomes.

Ashyba’s 9.2 million base pair genome encodes 4,718 protein coding genes, the team reported. The fungus shares more than 90 percent of those with yeast, with most occurring in a similar gene order.

Further comparison of the Ashbya and yeast genomes revealed 300 instances of sequence inversion or movement of a segment from one location to another since the divergence of the two species. The analysis also revealed two copies of the majority of Ashbya genes in the yeast genome, evidence that the evolution of S. cerevisiae included a whole genome duplication.

The fully annotated sequence will be made publicly available on GenBank, the National Institutes of Health genetic sequence database.

"This is the culmination of the work of many people over more than 10 years," said Dietrich. "It’s very satisfying to finally be able to make this data public." The support of Novartis hinged on an agreement that the data not be made public until the genome was complete, he said.

Collaborators on the project included Philippe Luedi, of Duke University Medical Center; Sylvia Voegeli, Sophie Brachat, Ph.D., Anita Lerch, Sabine Steiner, Ph.D., Christine Mohr, Ph.D., and Rainer Pohlmann, Ph.D., of the University of Basel; Krista Gates, Albert Flavier, Ph.D., and Thomas Gaffney, Ph.D., of Syngenta Biotechnology in Research Triangle Park; and Sangdun Choi, Ph.D., and Rod Wing, Ph.D., of Clemson University in South Carolina.

Kendall Morgan | dukemed news
Further information:
http://www.dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=7448

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History

nachricht New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

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...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

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...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

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...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

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...

Im Focus: Autonomous 3D scanner supports individual manufacturing processes

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Fingerprints of quantum entanglement

16.02.2018 | Information Technology

'Living bandages': NUST MISIS scientists develop biocompatible anti-burn nanofibers

16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine

Hubble sees Neptune's mysterious shrinking storm

16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>