A target enrichment approach for enhanced recovery of Synchytrium endobioticum nuclear genome sequences

Hai D.T. Nguyen*, Ekaterina Ponomareva, Kasia Dadej, Donna Smith, Melissa Antoun, Theo A.J. van der Lee, Bart T.L.H. van de Vossenberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Potato wart disease is caused by the obligate fungal pathogen Synchytrium endobioticum. DNA extraction from compost, purified spores and crude wart tissue derived from tuber galls of infected potatoes often results in low S. endobioticum DNA concentration or highly contaminated with DNA coming from other microorganisms and the potato host. Therefore, Illumina sequencing of these samples generally results in suboptimal recovery of the nuclear genome sequences of S. endobioticum. A hybridization-based target enrichment protocol was developed to strongly enhance the recovery of S. endobioticum DNA while off-target organisms DNA remains uncaptured. The design strategy involved creating a set of 180,000 molecular baits targeting both gene and non-gene regions of S. endobioticum. The baits were applied to whole genome amplified DNA samples of various S. endobioticum pathotypes (races) in compost, from purified spores and crude wart tissue samples. This was followed by Illumina sequencing and bioinformatic analyses. Compared to non-enriched samples, target enriched samples: 1) showed a significant increase in the proportion of sequenced bases mapped to the S. endobioticum nuclear genome, especially for crude wart tissue samples; 2) yielded sequencing data with higher and better nuclear genome coverage; 3) biased genome assembly towards S. endobioticum sequences, yielding smaller assembly sizes but higher representation of putative S. endobioticum contigs; 4) showed an increase in the number of S. endobioticum genes detected in the genome assemblies. Our hybridization-based target enrichment protocol offers a valuable tool for enhancing genome sequencing and NGS-based molecular detection of S. endobioticum, especially in difficult samples.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0296842
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2024


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