Project description:Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a major staple crop in Africa, Asia, and South America, and its starchy roots provide nourishment for 800 million people worldwide. Although native to South America, cassava was brought to Africa 400-500 years ago and is now widely cultivated across sub-Saharan Africa, but it is subject to biotic and abiotic stresses. To assist in the rapid identification of markers for pathogen resistance and crop traits, and to accelerate breeding programs, we generated a framework map for M. esculenta Crantz from reduced representation sequencing [genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS)]. The composite 2412-cM map integrates 10 biparental maps (comprising 3480 meioses) and organizes 22,403 genetic markers on 18 chromosomes, in agreement with the observed karyotype. We used the map to anchor 71.9% of the draft genome assembly and 90.7% of the predicted protein-coding genes. The chromosome-anchored genome sequence will be useful for breeding improvement by assisting in the rapid identification of markers linked to important traits, and in providing a framework for genomic selection-enhanced breeding of this important crop.
Project description:Ustilago esculenta, infects Zizania latifolia, and induced host stem swollen to be a popular vegetable called Jiaobai in China. It is the long-standing artificial selection that maximizes the occurrence of favourable Jiaobai, and thus maintaining the plant-fungi interaction and modulating the fungus evolving from plant pathogen to entophyte. In this study, whole genome of U. esculenta was sequenced and transcriptomes of the fungi and its host were analysed. The 20.2?Mb U. esculenta draft genome of 6,654 predicted genes including mating, primary metabolism, secreted proteins, shared a high similarity to related Smut fungi. But U. esculenta prefers RNA silencing not repeat-induced point in defence and has more introns per gene, indicating relatively slow evolution rate. The fungus also lacks some genes in amino acid biosynthesis pathway which were filled by up-regulated host genes and developed distinct amino acid response mechanism to balance the infection-resistance interaction. Besides, U. esculenta lost some surface sensors, important virulence factors and host range-related effectors to maintain the economic endophytic life. The elucidation of the U. esculenta genomic information as well as expression profiles can not only contribute to more comprehensive insights into the molecular mechanism underlying artificial selection but also into smut fungi-host interactions.
Project description:There is great interest in the phenotypic, genetic and epigenetic changes associated with plant in vitro culture known as somaclonal variation. In vitro propagation systems that are based on the use of microcuttings or meristem cultures are considered analogous to clonal cuttings and so widely viewed to be largely free from such somaclonal effects. In this study, we surveyed for epigenetic changes during propagation by meristem culture and by field cuttings in five cassava (Manihot esculenta) cultivars. Principal Co-ordinate Analysis of profiles generated by methylation-sensitive amplified polymorphism revealed clear divergence between samples taken from field-grown cuttings and those recovered from meristem culture. There was also good separation between the tissues of field samples but this effect was less distinct among the meristem culture materials. Application of methylation-sensitive Genotype by sequencing identified 105 candidate epimarks that distinguish between field cutting and meristem culture samples. Cross referencing the sequences of these epimarks to the draft cassava genome revealed 102 sites associated with genes whose homologs have been implicated in a range of fundamental biological processes including cell differentiation, development, sugar metabolism, DNA methylation, stress response, photosynthesis, and transposon activation. We explore the relevance of these findings for the selection of micropropagation systems for use on this and other crops.
Project description:Candida auris is an emerging pathogen of considerable public health importance. We present the draft genome sequence of a strain recently cultured from the urine of a patient hospitalized in the greater Houston metropolitan region. Two combined Oxford Nanopore sequencing runs provided sufficient data to rapidly generate a draft genome.
Project description:Ustilago esculenta, a pathogenic basidiomycete fungus, infects Zizania latifolia to form edible galls named Jiaobai in China. The distinct growth conditions of U. esculenta induced Z. latifolia to form three different phenotypes, named male Jiaobai, grey Jiaobai and white Jiaobai. The aim of this study is to characterize the genetic and morphological differences that distinguish the two U. esculenta strains.In this study, sexually compatible haploid sporidia UeT14/UeT55 from grey Jiaobai (T strains) and UeMT10/UeMT46 from white Jiaobai (MT strains) were isolated. Meanwhile, we successfully established mating and inoculation assays. Great differences were observed between the T and MT strains. First, the MT strains had a defect in development, including lower teliospore formation frequency and germination rate, a slower growth rate and a lower growth mass. Second, they differed in the assimilation of nitrogen sources in that the T strains preferred urea and the MT strains preferred arginine. In addition, the MT strains were more sensitive to external signals, including pH and oxidative stress. Third, the MT strains showed an infection defect, resulting in an endophytic life in the host. This was in accordance with multiple mutated pathogenic genes discovered in the MT strains by the non-synonymous mutation analysis of the genome re-sequencing data between the MT and T strains (GenBank accession numbers of the genome re-sequencing data: JTLW00000000 for MT strains and SRR5889164 for T strains).The MT strains appeared to have defects in growth and infection and were more sensitive to external signals compared to the T strains. They displayed an absolutely stable endophytic life in the host without an infection cycle. Accordingly, they had multiple gene mutations occurring, especially in pathogenicity. In contrast, the T strains, as phytopathogens, had a complete survival life cycle, in which the formation of teliospores is important for adaption and infection, leading to the appearance of the grey phenotype. Further studies elucidating the molecular differences between the U. esculenta strains causing differential host phenotypes will help to improve the production and formation of edible white galls.