Australasian Plant Pathology (2017) 46, 147-156

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Leonard Barnabas, N.M. R. Ashwin, A. Ramesh Sundar, P. Malathi and R. Viswanathan (2017)
Putative orthologs of Ustilago maydis effectors screened from the genome of sugarcane smut fungus - Sporisorium scitamineum
Australasian Plant Pathology 46 (2), 147-156
Abstract: Smut caused by Sporisorium scitamineum is one of the most economically important diseases of sugarcane. In order to comprehend smut resistance in sugarcane, pathogenic determinants of this intriguing smut fungus need to be identified. However, the knowledge on molecular mechanisms behind its pathogenicity is inadequate and none of the predicted putative effectors of this smut fungus has been functionally characterised. Based on the established close genomic synteny between S. scitamineum and Ustilago maydis, in this preliminary study, we have identified putative orthologs of functionally characterised U. maydis effectors viz., Pep1, Cmu1, Tin2, Srt1, Stp1 and Pit1 in S. scitamineum genome, using blast - based searches. Further, in silico analysis revealed that the identified candidate S. scitamineum orthologs share higher sequence identity with Sporisorium reilianum than U. maydis sequences. Signal peptides, transmembrane and other conserved domains predicted in the identified putative S. scitamineum effector orthologs were consistent with the reported U. maydis effectors. In addition, most of the identified putative effector orthologs of S. scitamineum also shared considerable homology with the sequences of other closely-related smut fungi and codon sites with evidence of positive selection and episodic diversifying selection were detected in a few sequences. Temporal gene expression analysis revealed that transcript expression of the identified putative S. scitamineum effector orthologs increased significantly after 3 days post inoculation and was expressed in distinct patterns throughout the infection cycle. The results of this study also indicate that these candidate effectors could be conserved among other closely - related smut fungi.
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Database assignments for author(s): Rasappa Viswanathan

Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
resistance/tolerance/defence of host


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Sporisorium scitamineum Sugarcane (Saccharum officinarum)