Comparative analyses of secreted proteins in plant pathogenic smut fungi and related basidiomycetes

Fungal Genet Biol. 2018 Mar;112:21-30. doi: 10.1016/j.fgb.2016.12.003. Epub 2017 Jan 6.


In the ten years since the genome sequence of the basidiomycete corn smut fungus Ustilago maydis was published, additional genomes of smut species infecting different hosts became available. In addition, the genomes of related Malassezia species causing skin diseases and of Pseudozyma species not known to infect plants were determined. As secreted proteins are critical virulence determinants in U. maydis we compare here the secretomes of 12 basidiomycete species to gain information about their composition and conservation. For this we classify secreted proteins into those with and without domains using InterPro scans. Homology among proteins is inferred by building clusters based on pairwise similarities and cluster presence is then assessed in the different species. We detect in particular a strong correspondence between the secretomes of Pseudozyma species and plant infecting smuts. Furthermore, we identify a high proportion of secreted proteins to be part of gene families and present an advancement of the CRISPR-Cas9 technology for simultaneous disruption of multiple genes in U. maydis using five genes of the eff1 family as example.

Keywords: Basidiomycete fungi; Cas9; Comparative genomics; Multiplexing; Secretome; Ustilago maydis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Basidiomycota / chemistry*
  • Basidiomycota / genetics
  • Fungal Proteins / analysis*
  • Gene Targeting / methods
  • Proteome / analysis
  • Virulence Factors / analysis*


  • Fungal Proteins
  • Proteome
  • Virulence Factors