Wendy Schackwitz

DOE Joint Genome Institute, Walnut Creek, California, United States

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Publications (50)312.37 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: and Ward DM (2015) The molecular dimension of microbial species: 3. Comparative genomics of Synechococcus strains with different light responses and in situ diel transcription patterns of associated putative ecotypes in the Mushroom Spring microbial mat. Front. Microbiol. 6:604. Genomes were obtained for three closely related strains of Synechococcus that are representative of putative ecotypes (PEs) that predominate at different depths in the 1 mm-thick, upper-green layer in the 60 • C mat of Mushroom Spring, Yellowstone National Park, and exhibit different light adaptation and acclimation responses. The genomes were compared to the published genome of a previously obtained, closely related strain from a neighboring spring, and differences in both gene content and orthologous gene alleles between highlight adapted and low-light-adapted strains were identified. Evidence of genetic differences that relate to adaptation to light intensity and/or quality, CO 2 uptake, nitrogen metabolism, organic carbon metabolism, and uptake of other nutrients were found between strains of the different putative ecotypes. In situ diel transcription patterns of genes, including genes unique to either low-light-adapted or highlight adapted strains and different alleles of an orthologous photosystem gene, revealed that expression is fine-tuned to the different light environments experienced by ecotypes prevalent at various depths in the mat. This study suggests that strains of closely related PEs have different genomic adaptations that enable them to inhabit distinct ecological niches while living in close proximity within a microbial community.
    Frontiers in Microbiology 07/2015; 1(6). DOI:10.3389/fmicb.2015.00604 · 3.94 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thermotoga maritima is a hyperthermophilic bacterium with a small genome (1.86 Mbp). Genome resequencing of Tma200, a derivative produced by experimental microbial evolution, revealed the occurrence of deletions and substitution mutations. Their identification contributes to a better understanding of genome instability in this organism. FOOTNOTES Address correspondence to Paul Blum, pblum1{at}unl.edu. Citation Singh R, Gradnigo J, White D, Lipzen A, Martin J, Schackwitz W, Moriyama E, Blum P. 2015. Complete genome sequence of an evolved Thermotoga maritima isolate. Genome Announc 3(3):e00557-15. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00557-15. Received 24 April 2015. Accepted 29 April 2015. Published 28 May 2015.
    Genome Announcements 05/2015; 3(3). DOI:10.1128/genomeA.00557-15
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    ABSTRACT: Sulfolobus solfataricus is a thermoacidophilic crenarcheote with a 3.0-Mb genome. Here, we report the genome sequence of S. solfataricus strain 98/2, along with several evolved derivatives generated through experimental microbial evolution for enhanced thermoacidophily. FOOTNOTES Address correspondence to Paul Blum, pblum1{at}unl.edu. Citation McCarthy S, Gradnigo J, Johnson T, Payne S, Lipzen A, Martin J, Schackwitz W, Moriyama E, Blum P. 2015. Complete genome sequence of Sulfolobus solfataricus strain 98/2 and evolved derivatives. Genome Announc 3(3):e00549-15. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00549-15. Received 22 April 2015. Accepted 28 April 2015. Published 28 May 2015.
    Genome Announcements 05/2015; 3(3). DOI:10.1128/genomeA.00549-15
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    ABSTRACT: Limonene, a major component of citrus peel oil, has a number of applications related to microbiology. The anti-microbial properties of limonene make it a popular disinfectant and food preservative, while its potential as a biofuel component has made it the target of renewable production efforts through microbial metabolic engineering. For both applications, an understanding of microbial sensitivity or tolerance to limonene is crucial, but the mechanism of limonene toxicity remains enigmatic. In this study, we characterized a limonene-tolerant strain of Escherichia coli and found a mutation in ahpC, encoding for alkyl hydroperoxidase, which alleviated limonene toxicity. We show that the acute toxicity previously attributed to limonene is largely due to the common oxidation product limonene-hydroperoxide, which forms spontaneously in aerobic environments. The mutant protein AhpC(L177Q) is able to alleviate this toxicity by reducing the hydroperoxide to a more benign compound. We show that the degree of limonene toxicity is a function of its oxidation level, and that non-oxidized limonene has relatively little toxicity to wild-type E. coli. Our results have implications for both the renewable production of limonene and the applications of limonene as an anti-microbial. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/2015; DOI:10.1128/AEM.01102-15 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background Trichoderma reesei is the main industrial source of cellulases and hemicellulases required for the hydrolysis of biomass to simple sugars, which can then be used in the production of biofuels and biorefineries. The highly productive strains in use today were generated by classical mutagenesis. As byproducts of this procedure, mutants were generated that turned out to be unable to produce cellulases. In order to identify the mutations responsible for this inability, we sequenced the genome of one of these strains, QM9136, and compared it to that of its progenitor T. reesei QM6a. Results In QM9136, we detected a surprisingly low number of mutagenic events in the promoter and coding regions of genes, i.e. only eight indels and six single nucleotide variants. One of these indels led to a frame-shift in the Zn2Cys6 transcription factor XYR1, the general regulator of cellulase and xylanase expression, and resulted in its C-terminal truncation by 140 amino acids. Retransformation of strain QM9136 with the wild-type xyr1 allele fully recovered the ability to produce cellulases, and is thus the reason for the cellulase-negative phenotype. Introduction of an engineered xyr1 allele containing the truncating point mutation into the moderate producer T. reesei QM9414 rendered this strain also cellulase-negative. The correspondingly truncated XYR1 protein was still able to enter the nucleus, but failed to be expressed over the basal constitutive level. Conclusion The missing 140 C-terminal amino acids of XYR1 are therefore responsible for its previously observed auto-regulation which is essential for cellulases to be expressed. Our data present a working example of the use of genome sequencing leading to a functional explanation of the QM9136 cellulase-negative phenotype. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12864-015-1526-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
    BMC Genomics 04/2015; 16(1). DOI:10.1186/s12864-015-1526-0 · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the genetic basis of microbial evolutionary adaptation to salt (NaCl) stress, populations of Desulfovibrio vulgaris Hildenborough (DvH), a sulfate-reducing bacterium important for the biogeochemical cycling of sulfur, carbon and nitrogen, and potentially the bioremediation of toxic heavy metals and radionuclides, were propagated under salt stress or non-stress conditions for 1200 generations. Whole-genome sequencing revealed 11 mutations in salt stress-evolved clone ES9-11 and 14 mutations in non-stress-evolved clone EC3-10. Whole-population sequencing data suggested the rapid selective sweep of the pre-existing polymorphisms under salt stress within the first 100 generations and the slow fixation of new mutations. Population genotyping data demonstrated that the rapid selective sweep of pre-existing polymorphisms was common in salt stress-evolved populations. In contrast, the selection of pre-existing polymorphisms was largely random in EC populations. Consistently, at 100 generations, stress-evolved population ES9 showed improved salt tolerance, namely increased growth rate (2.0-fold), higher biomass yield (1.8-fold) and shorter lag phase (0.7-fold) under higher salinity conditions. The beneficial nature of several mutations was confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis. All four tested mutations contributed to the shortened lag phases under higher salinity condition. In particular, compared with the salt tolerance improvement in ES9-11, a mutation in a histidine kinase protein gene lytS contributed 27% of the growth rate increase and 23% of the biomass yield increase while a mutation in hypothetical gene DVU2472 contributed 24% of the biomass yield increase. Our results suggested that a few beneficial mutations could lead to dramatic improvements in salt tolerance.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 7 April 2015; doi:10.1038/ismej.2015.45.
    The ISME Journal 04/2015; DOI:10.1038/ismej.2015.45 · 9.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report the elucidation of the complete genome of the Neurospora crassa (Shear and Dodge) strain FGSC 73, a mat-a, trp-3 mutant strain. The genome sequence around the idiotypic mating type locus represents the only publicly available sequence for a mat-a strain. 40.42 Megabases are assembled into 358 scaffolds carrying 11,978 gene models. FOOTNOTES Address correspondence to Scott E. Baker, scott.baker{at}pnnl.gov, or Kevin McCluskey, mccluskeyk{at}ksu.edu. Citation Baker SE, Schackwitz W, Lipzen A, Martin J, Haridas S, LaButti K, Grigoriev IV, Simmons BA, McCluskey K. 2015. Draft genome sequence of Neurospora crassa strain FGSC 73. Genome Announc 3(2):e00074-15. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00074-15. Received 18 February 2015. Accepted 23 February 2015. Published 2 April 2015.
    Genome Announcements 03/2015; 3(2):e00074-15. DOI:10.1128/genomeA.00074-15
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundQTL cloning for the discovery of genes underlying polygenic traits has historically been cumbersome in long-lived perennial plants like Populus. Linkage disequilibrium-based association mapping has been proposed as a cloning tool, and recent advances in high-throughput genotyping and whole-genome resequencing enable marker saturation to levels sufficient for association mapping with no a priori candidate gene selection. Here, multiyear and multienvironment evaluation of cell wall phenotypes was conducted in an interspecific P. trichocarpa x P. deltoides pseudo-backcross mapping pedigree and two partially overlapping populations of unrelated P. trichocarpa genotypes using pyrolysis molecular beam mass spectrometry, saccharification, and/ or traditional wet chemistry. QTL mapping was conducted using a high-density genetic map with 3,568 SNP markers. As a fine-mapping approach, chromosome-wide association mapping targeting a QTL hot-spot on linkage group XIV was performed in the two P. trichocarpa populations. Both populations were genotyped using the 34 K Populus Infinium SNP array and whole-genome resequencing of one of the populations facilitated marker-saturation of candidate intervals for gene identification.ResultsFive QTLs ranging in size from 0.6 to 1.8 Mb were mapped on linkage group XIV for lignin content, syringyl to guaiacyl (S/G) ratio, 5- and 6-carbon sugars using the mapping pedigree. Six candidate loci exhibiting significant associations with phenotypes were identified within QTL intervals. These associations were reproducible across multiple environments, two independent genotyping platforms, and different plant growth stages. cDNA sequencing for allelic variants of three of the six loci identified polymorphisms leading to variable length poly glutamine (PolyQ) stretch in a transcription factor annotated as an ANGUSTIFOLIA C-terminus Binding Protein (CtBP) and premature stop codons in a KANADI transcription factor as well as a protein kinase. Results from protoplast transient expression assays suggested that each of the polymorphisms conferred allelic differences in the activation of cellulose, hemicelluloses, and lignin pathway marker genes.Conclusion This study illustrates the utility of complementary QTL and association mapping as tools for gene discovery with no a priori candidate gene selection. This proof of concept in a perennial organism opens up opportunities for discovery of novel genetic determinants of economically important but complex traits in plants.
    BMC Genomics 01/2015; 16(1). DOI:10.1186/s12864-015-1215-z · 4.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Terpene synthesis in the majority of bacterial species, together with plant plastids, takes place via the 1-deoxy-d-xylulose 5-phosphate (DXP) pathway. The first step of this pathway involves the condensation of pyruvate and glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate by DXP synthase (Dxs), with one sixth of the carbon lost as CO2. A hypothetical route (nDXP) from a pentose phosphate to DXP could enable a more direct pathway from C5 sugars to terpenes and also circumvent regulatory mechanisms that control Dxs, but there is no enzyme known that can convert a sugar into its 1-deoxy equivalent. Employing a selection for complementation of a dxs deletion in E. coli grown on xylose as sole carbon source, we uncovered two candidate nDXP genes. Complementation was achieved via either overexpression of the wild type E. coli yajO gene, annotated as a putative xylose reductase, or via various mutations in the native ribB gene. In vitro analysis with purified YajO and mutant RibB proteins revealed that in both cases DXP was synthesized from ribulose 5-phosphate (Ru5P). We demonstrate utility of these genes for microbial terpene biosynthesis by engineering the DXP pathway in E. coli for production of the sesquiterpene bisabolene, a candidate biodiesel. To further improve flux into the pathway from Ru5P, nDXP enzymes were expressed as fusions to DXP reductase, Dxr, the second enzyme in the DXP pathway. Expression of a Dxr-RibB(G108S) fusion improved bisabolene titers more than 4-fold and alleviated accumulation of intracellular DXP.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 10/2014; DOI:10.1128/AEM.02920-14 · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lignocellulosic plant material is a viable source of biomass to produce alternative energy including ethanol and other biofuels. However, several factors - including toxic byproducts from biomass pretreatment and poor fermentation of xylose and other pentose sugars - currently limit the efficiency of microbial biofuel production. To begin to understand the genetic basis of desirable traits, we characterized three strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae with robust growth in a pretreated lignocellulosic hydrolysate or tolerance to stress conditions relevant to industrial biofuel production, through genome and transcriptome sequencing analysis. All stress resistant strains were highly mosaic, suggesting that genetic admixture may contribute to novel allele combinations underlying these phenotypes. Strain-specific gene sets not found in the lab strain were functionally linked to the tolerances of particular strains. Furthermore, genes with signatures of evolutionary selection were enriched for functional categories important for stress resistance and included stress-responsive signaling factors. Comparison of the strains' transcriptomic responses to heat and ethanol treatment - two stresses relevant to industrial bioethanol production - pointed to physiological processes that were related to particular stress resistance profiles. Many of the genotype-by-environment expression responses occurred at targets of transcription factors with signatures of positive selection, suggesting that these strains have undergone positive selection for stress tolerance. Our results generate new insights into potential mechanisms of tolerance to stresses relevant to biofuel production, including ethanol and heat, present a backdrop for further engineering, and provide glimpses into the natural variation of stress tolerance in wild yeast strains.
    Genome Biology and Evolution 09/2014; 6(9). DOI:10.1093/gbe/evu199 · 4.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Forest trees are dominant components of terrestrial ecosystems that have global ecological and economic importance. Despite distributions that span wide environmental gradients, many tree populations are locally adapted, and mechanisms underlying this adaptation are poorly understood. Here we use a combination of whole-genome selection scans and association analyses of 544 Populus trichocarpa trees to reveal genomic bases of adaptive variation across a wide latitudinal range. Three hundred ninety-seven genomic regions showed evidence of recent positive and/or divergent selection and enrichment for associations with adaptive traits that also displayed patterns consistent with natural selection. These regions also provide unexpected insights into the evolutionary dynamics of duplicated genes and their roles in adaptive trait variation.
    Nature Genetics 08/2014; 46(10). DOI:10.1038/ng.3075 · 29.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Enterobacter cloacae strain JD6301 was isolated from a mixed culture with wastewater collected from a municipal treatment facility and oleaginous microorganisms. A draft genome sequence of this organism indicates that it has a genome size of 4,772,910 bp, an average G+C content of 53%, and 4,509 protein-coding genes.
    Genome Announcements 05/2014; 2(3). DOI:10.1128/genomeA.00381-14
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    ABSTRACT: Brachypodium distachyon is small annual grass that has been adopted as a model for the grasses. Its small genome, high quality reference genome, large germplasm collection, and selfing nature make it an excellent subject for studies of natural variation. We sequenced six divergent lines to identify a comprehensive set of polymorphisms and analyze their distribution and concordance with gene expression. Multiple methods and controls were utilized to identify polymorphisms and validate their quality. mRNA-Seq experiments under control and simulated drought-stress conditions, identified 300 genes with a genotype-dependent treatment response. We showed that large-scale sequence variants had extremely high concordance with altered expression of hundreds of genes, including many with genotype-dependent treatment responses. We generated a deep mRNA-Seq dataset for the most divergent line and created a de novo transcriptome assembly. This led to the discovery of >2,400 previously unannotated transcripts and hundreds of genes not present in the reference genome. We built a public database for visualization and investigation of sequence variants among these widely used inbred lines.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    The Plant Journal 05/2014; DOI:10.1111/tpj.12569 · 6.82 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: eLife digest X-rays and other forms of ionizing radiation can damage DNA and proteins inside cells. The radiation interacts with aqueous solutions to produce reactive forms of oxygen, which then cause the damage. A range of mechanisms exist to moderate and/or repair this damage, with certain species being able to tolerate extraordinary levels of radiation. The bacterium D. radiodurans, for example, can survive radiation levels that are over 1000 times higher than the levels that can kill human cells. The molecular basis of high-level resistance to ionizing radiation is not well understood, and several mechanisms have been proposed. Recent work has focused on passive mechanisms that are based on changes in cellular levels of certain small molecules that prevent damage by reactive forms of oxygen molecules. Now, based on experiments on E. coli, Byrne et al. demonstrate that active mechanisms, involving adaptations in the cellular DNA repair systems, can bring about dramatic increases in radiation resistance. The experiments were performed on populations of E. coli cells that had been subjected to an evolutionary selection for extremely high resistance to ionizing radiation. This involved exposing the E. coli cells to ionizing radiation that killed most of the population, and then growing up the survivors. Many repetitions of this process led to a population of cells with a resistance that was comparable to that of the bacterium D. radiodurans. The same evolution experiment was carried out four times, generating four separate populations of bacteria that were resistant to ionizing radiation. Byrne et al. sequenced the genomes of the E. coli after 20, 40 or 50 rounds of the selection process, and compared mutations found in the four separate evolved populations. This showed that nine genes were particularly prone to mutations. Together, these genes had roles in repairing and copying DNA sequences, in decreasing damage caused by reactive forms of oxygen, and in manufacturing the molecular wall that shields cells. To assess the importance of the mutations in the nine genes, Byrne et al. took Founder cells from the initial population of E. coli cells–which were not resistant to ionizing radiation–and introduced the very same mutations, one at a time. Then the mutations that had the largest positive effects on resistance to ionizing radiation were combined. Introducing particular mutations into three DNA repair genes resulted in the highest aggregate levels of resistance. Finally, evolved E. coli cells that were already resistant were made more sensitive to radiation by repairing the same individual mutations. Again, the biggest change was observed with the DNA repair genes. Indeed, repairing the mutations in just the three DNA repair genes completely removed the radiation resistance. The next step is to determine how the properties of the mutated proteins change, and how those changes lead to radiation resistance. Also, there are clues in the work that suggest the presence of additional ways for cells to become radiation resistant, and these remain to be explored. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.01322.002
    eLife Sciences 03/2014; 3:e01322. DOI:10.7554/eLife.01322 · 8.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The complexity of plant cell walls creates many challenges for microbial decomposition. Clostridium phytofermentans, an anaerobic bacterium isolated from forest soil, directly breaks down and utilizes many plant cell wall carbohydrates. The objective of this research is to understand constraints on rates of plant decomposition by Clostridium phytofermentans and identify molecular mechanisms that may overcome these limitations. Experimental evolution via repeated serial transfers during exponential growth was used to select for C. phytofermentans genotypes that grow more rapidly on cellobiose, cellulose and xylan. To identify the underlying mutations an average of 13,600,000 paired-end reads were generated per population resulting in ∼300 fold coverage of each site in the genome. Mutations with allele frequencies of 5% or greater could be identified with statistical confidence. Many mutations are in carbohydrate-related genes including the promoter regions of glycoside hydrolases and amino acid substitutions in ABC transport proteins involved in carbohydrate uptake, signal transduction sensors that detect specific carbohydrates, proteins that affect the export of extracellular enzymes, and regulators of unknown specificity. Structural modeling of the ABC transporter complex proteins suggests that mutations in these genes may alter the recognition of carbohydrates by substrate-binding proteins and communication between the intercellular face of the transmembrane and the ATPase binding proteins. Experimental evolution was effective in identifying molecular constraints on the rate of hemicellulose and cellulose fermentation and selected for putative gain of function mutations that do not typically appear in traditional molecular genetic screens. The results reveal new strategies for evolving and engineering microorganisms for faster growth on plant carbohydrates.
    PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e86731. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0086731 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    Erik R Hawley, Wendy Schackwitz, Matthias Hess
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    ABSTRACT: The Salton Sea is the largest inland body of water in California, with salinities ranging from brackish freshwater to hypersaline. The lake experiences high nutrient input, and its surface water is exposed to temperatures up to 40°C. Here, we report the community profiles associated with surface water from the Salton Sea.
    Genome Announcements 01/2014; 2(1). DOI:10.1128/genomeA.01208-13
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    ABSTRACT: Cost effective next generation sequencing technologies now enable the production of genomic datasets for many novel planktonic eukaryotes, representing an understudied reservoir of genetic diversity. O. tauri is the smallest free-living photosynthetic eukaryote known to date, a coccoid green alga that was first isolated in 1995 in a lagoon by the Mediterranean sea. Its simple features, ease of culture and the sequencing of its 13 Mb haploid nuclear genome have promoted this microalga as a new model organism for cell biology. Here, we investigated the quality of genome assemblies of Illumina GAIIx 75 bp paired-end reads from Ostreococcus tauri, thereby also improving the existing assembly and showing the genome to be stably maintained in culture. The 3 assemblers used, ABySS, CLCBio and Velvet, produced 95% complete genomes in 1402 to 2080 scaffolds with a very low rate of misassembly. Reciprocally, these assemblies improved the original genome assembly by filling in 930 gaps. Combined with additional analysis of raw reads and PCR sequencing effort, 1194 gaps have been solved in total adding up to 460 kb of sequence. Mapping of RNAseq Illumina data on this updated genome led to a twofold reduction in the proportion of multi-exon protein coding genes, representing 19% of the total 7699 protein coding genes. The comparison of the DNA extracted in 2001 and 2009 revealed the fixation of 8 single nucleotide substitutions and 2 deletions during the approximately 6000 generations in the lab. The deletions either knocked out or truncated two predicted transmembrane proteins, including a glutamate-receptor like gene. High coverage (>80 fold) paired-end Illumina sequencing enables a high quality 95% complete genome assembly of a compact ~13 Mb haploid eukaryote. This genome sequence has remained stable for 6000 generations of lab culture.
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    ABSTRACT: Author Summary The filamentous ascomycete genus Cochliobolus includes highly aggressive necrotrophic and hemibiotrophic pathogens with particular specificity to their host plants, often associated with production of host selective toxins (HST) that allow necrotrophs to trigger host cell death. Hemibiotrophs must keep their hosts alive during initial infection stages and rely on subverting host defenses by secreting small protein effectors. Many Cochliobolus species have emerged rapidly as devastating pathogens due to HSTs. The genomes of Cochliobolus and related pathogens that differ in host preference, host specificity, and virulence strategies have been sequenced. Our comparative results, at the whole-genome level, and with a spotlight on core genes for secondary metabolism and small secreted proteins, touch on how pathogens develop and hone these tools, according to host or lifestyle. We suggest that, while necrotrophs and hemibiotrophs employ fundamentally contrasting mechanisms of promoting disease, the tools they utilize (HSTs and protein effectors) overlap. The suites of secondary metabolite and SSP genes that each possesses reflect astounding diversity among species, hinting that gene products, particularly those associated with unique genomic regions, are candidates for pathogenic lifestyle differences. Manipulations of strain-unique secondary metabolite genes associated with host-specific virulence provide tangible examples.
    PLoS Genetics 01/2013; 9(1):e1003233. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1003233 · 8.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Genetic mapping of quantitative traits requires genotypic data for large numbers of markers in many individuals. For such studies, the use of large single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping arrays still offers the most cost-effective solution. Herein we report on the design and performance of a SNP genotyping array for Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood). This genotyping array was designed with SNPs pre-ascertained in 34 wild accessions covering most of the species latitudinal range. We adopted a candidate gene approach to the array design that resulted in the selection of 34 131 SNPs, the majority of which are located in, or within 2 kb of, 3543 candidate genes. A subset of the SNPs on the array (539) was selected based on patterns of variation among the SNP discovery accessions. We show that more than 95% of the loci produce high quality genotypes and that the genotyping error rate for these is likely below 2%. We demonstrate that even among small numbers of samples (n = 10) from local populations over 84% of loci are polymorphic. We also tested the applicability of the array to other species in the genus and found that the number of polymorphic loci decreases rapidly with genetic distance, with the largest numbers detected in other species in section Tacamahaca. Finally, we provide evidence for the utility of the array to address evolutionary questions such as intraspecific studies of genetic differentiation, species assignment and the detection of natural hybrids.
    Molecular Ecology Resources 01/2013; 13(2). DOI:10.1111/1755-0998.12056 · 5.63 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pyrenophora tritici-repentis is a necrotrophic fungus causal to the disease tan spot of wheat, whose contribution to crop loss has increased significantly during the last few decades. Pathogenicity by this fungus is attributed to the production of host-selective toxins (HST), which are recognized by their host in a genotype-specific manner. To better understand the mechanisms that have led to the increase in disease incidence related to this pathogen, we sequenced the genomes of three P. tritici-repentis isolates. A pathogenic isolate that produces two known HSTs was used to assemble a reference nuclear genome of approximately 40 Mb composed of 11 chromosomes that encode 12,141 predicted genes. Comparison of the reference genome with those of a pathogenic isolate that produces a third HST, and a nonpathogenic isolate, showed the nonpathogen genome to be more diverged than those of the two pathogens. Examination of gene-coding regions has provided candidate pathogen-specific proteins and revealed gene families that may play a role in a necrotrophic lifestyle. Analysis of transposable elements suggests that their presence in the genome of pathogenic isolates contributes to the creation of novel genes, effector diversification, possible horizontal gene transfer events, identified copy number variation, and the first example of transduplication by DNA transposable elements in fungi. Overall, comparative analysis of these genomes provides evidence that pathogenicity in this species arose through an influx of transposable elements, which created a genetically flexible landscape that can easily respond to environmental changes.
    G3-Genes Genomes Genetics 01/2013; 3(1):41-63. DOI:10.1534/g3.112.004044 · 2.51 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
312.37 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2015
    • DOE Joint Genome Institute
      Walnut Creek, California, United States
  • 2013
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
      Итак, New York, United States
  • 2007
    • Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
      Milano, Lombardy, Italy
  • 2006–2007
    • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
      • Genomics Division
      Berkeley, CA, United States