Deciphering the monilinia fructicola genome to discover effector genes possibly involved in virulence

Laura Vilanova, Claudio A. Valero-Jiménez, Jan A.L. van Kan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Brown rot is the most economically important fungal disease of stone fruits and is primarily caused by Monilinia laxa and Monlinia fructicola. Both species co-occur in European orchards although M. fructicola is considered to cause the most severe yield losses in stone fruit. This study aimed to generate a high-quality genome of M. fructicola and to exploit it to identify genes that may contribute to pathogen virulence. PacBio sequencing technology was used to assemble the genome of M. fructicola. Manual structural curation of gene models, supported by RNA-Seq, and functional annotation of the proteome yielded 10,086 trustworthy gene models. The genome was examined for the presence of genes that encode secreted proteins and more specifically effector proteins. A set of 134 putative effectors was defined. Several effector genes were cloned into Agrobacterium tumefaciens for transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana plants, and some of them triggered necrotic lesions. Studying effectors and their biological properties will help to better understand the interaction between M. fructicola and its stone fruit host plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number568
JournalGenes
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2021

Keywords

  • Annotation
  • Brown rot
  • Cell-death
  • Necrosis
  • Stone fruit

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