Genome sequencing of the plant pathogen Taphrina deformans, the causal agent of peach leaf curl.

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Taphrina deformans is a fungus responsible for peach leaf curl, an important plant disease. It is phylogenetically assigned to the Taphrinomycotina subphylum, which includes the fission yeast and the mammalian pathogens of the genus Pneumocystis. We describe here the genome of T. deformans in the light of its dual plant-saprophytic/plant-parasitic lifestyle. The 13.3-Mb genome contains few identifiable repeated elements (ca. 1.5%) and a relatively high GC content (49.5%). A total of 5,735 protein-coding genes were identified, among which 83% share similarities with other fungi. Adaptation to the plant host seems reflected in the genome, since the genome carries genes involved in plant cell wall degradation (e.g., cellulases and cutinases), secondary metabolism, the hallmark glyoxylate cycle, detoxification, and sterol biosynthesis, as well as genes involved in the biosynthesis of plant hormones. Genes involved in lipid metabolism may play a role in its virulence. Several locus candidates for putative MAT cassettes and sex-related genes akin to those of Schizosaccharomyces pombe were identified. A mating-type-switching mechanism similar to that found in ascomycetous yeasts could be in effect. Taken together, the findings are consistent with the alternate saprophytic and parasitic-pathogenic lifestyles of T. deformans. IMPORTANCE Peach leaf curl is an important plant disease which causes significant losses of fruit production. We report here the genome sequence of the causative agent of the disease, the fungus Taphrina deformans. The genome carries characteristic genes that are important for the plant infection process. These include (i) proteases that allow degradation of the plant tissues; (ii) secondary metabolites which are products favoring interaction of the fungus with the environment, including the host; (iii) hormones that are responsible for the symptom of severely distorted leaves on the host; and (iv) drug detoxification enzymes that confer resistance to fungicides. The availability of the genome allows the design of new drug targets as well as the elaboration of specific management strategies to fight the disease.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)e00055-13
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

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