A chromosome-level genome assembly of Zasmidium syzygii isolated from banana leaves

Anouk van Westerhoven, Rahim Mehrabi, Reza Talebi, Maikel Steentjes, Benny Corcolon, Pablo Chong, Gert Kema*, Michael Seidl*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Accurate taxonomic classification of samples from infected host material is essential for disease diagnostics and genome analyses. Despite the importance, diagnosis of fungal pathogens causing banana leaf diseases remains challenging. Foliar diseases of bananas are mainly caused by three Pseudocercospora species, of which the most predominant causal agent is P. fijiensis. Here, we sequenced and assembled four fungal isolates obtained from necrotic banana leaves in Bohol (Philippines) and obtained a high-quality genome assembly for one of these isolates. The samples were initially identified as P. fijiensis using PCR diagnostics, however, the assembly size was consistently 30 Mb smaller than expected. Based on the ITS sequences, we identified the samples as Zasmidium syzygii (98.7% identity). The high-quality Zasmidium syzygii assembly is 42.5 Mb in size, comprising 16 contigs, of which 11 are most likely complete chromosomes. The genome contains 98.6% of the expected single-copy BUSCO genes and contains 14,789 genes and 10.3% repeats. The three short-read assemblies are less continuous but have similar genome sizes (40.4–42.4 Mb) and contain between 96.5% and 98.4% BUSCO genes. All four isolates have identical ITS sequences and are distinct from Zasmidium isolates that were previously sampled from banana leaves. We thus report the first continuous genome assembly of a member of the Zasmidium genus, forming an essential resource for further analysis to enhance our understanding of the diversity of pathogenic fungal isolates as well as fungal diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberjkad262
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 16 Nov 2023


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