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. 2007 Aug 10;8:272.
doi: 10.1186/1471-2164-8-272.

Expressed Sequences Tags of the Anther Smut Fungus, Microbotryum Violaceum, Identify Mating and Pathogenicity Genes

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Free PMC article

Expressed Sequences Tags of the Anther Smut Fungus, Microbotryum Violaceum, Identify Mating and Pathogenicity Genes

Roxana Yockteng et al. BMC Genomics. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: The basidiomycete fungus Microbotryum violaceum is responsible for the anther-smut disease in many plants of the Caryophyllaceae family and is a model in genetics and evolutionary biology. Infection is initiated by dikaryotic hyphae produced after the conjugation of two haploid sporidia of opposite mating type. This study describes M. violaceum ESTs corresponding to nuclear genes expressed during conjugation and early hyphal production.

Results: A normalized cDNA library generated 24,128 sequences, which were assembled into 7,765 unique genes; 25.2% of them displayed significant similarity to annotated proteins from other organisms, 74.3% a weak similarity to the same set of known proteins, and 0.5% were orphans. We identified putative pheromone receptors and genes that in other fungi are involved in the mating process. We also identified many sequences similar to genes known to be involved in pathogenicity in other fungi. The M. violaceum EST database, MICROBASE, is available on the Web and provides access to the sequences, assembled contigs, annotations and programs to compare similarities against MICROBASE.

Conclusion: This study provides a basis for cloning the mating type locus, for further investigation of pathogenicity genes in the anther smut fungi, and for comparative genomics.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Distribution of Microbotryum violaceum EST. EST redundancy among the 7,765 unisequences obtained from a cDNA library of the basidiomycete fungus Microbotryum vi.olaceum. The number of ESTs is indicated above each bar.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Molecular function categories of Microbotryum violaceum sequences. Distribution of the 797 contigs and singlets having a significant blast hit in public databases into molecular function class according to the Gene Ontology classification.
Figure 3
Figure 3
Putative pheromone receptors in Microbotryum. violaceum. A) Diagram of the two putative pheromone receptor genes identified in the EST library of Microbotryum violaceum, respectively linked to the A1 and A2 mating type. B) Alignment of the two putative pheromone receptors of Microbotryum violaceum with the most similar published protein sequences of other fungi: B2 and B-alpha of Schizophyllum commune, the transmembrane pheromone receptor of Coprinellus disseminatus and Rcb3B5 of Coprinopsis cinerea.
Figure 4
Figure 4
Comparison of expressed and genomic copies of Microbotryum violaceum transposable elements. Class I elements are represented by the Copia, Gypsy, and Non-LTR (long-terminal repeat) categories; Class II elements are represented by the Helicase and DNA Transposon categories. The Group II Intron category corresponds to a mitochondrial mobile element. The data on genomic survey sequences are from ref [12].

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