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Genomic innovations linked to infection strategies across emerging pathogenic chytrid fungi

Farrer, RA; Martel, A; Verbrugghe, E; Abouelleil, A; Ducatelle, R; Longcore, JE; James, TY; ... Cuomo, CA; + view all (2017) Genomic innovations linked to infection strategies across emerging pathogenic chytrid fungi. Nature Communications , 8 , Article 14742. 10.1038/ncomms14742. Green open access

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Abstract

To understand the evolutionary pathways that lead to emerging infections of vertebrates, here we explore the genomic innovations that allow free-living chytrid fungi to adapt to and colonize amphibian hosts. Sequencing and comparing the genomes of two pathogenic species of Batrachochytrium to those of close saprophytic relatives reveals that pathogenicity is associated with remarkable expansions of protease and cell wall gene families, while divergent infection strategies are linked to radiations of lineage-specific gene families. By comparing the host-pathogen response to infection for both pathogens, we illuminate the traits that underpin a strikingly different immune response within a shared host species. Our results show that, despite commonalities that promote infection, specific gene-family radiations contribute to distinct infection strategies. The breadth and evolutionary novelty of candidate virulence factors that we discover underscores the urgent need to halt the advance of pathogenic chytrids and prevent incipient loss of biodiversity.

Type: Article
Title: Genomic innovations linked to infection strategies across emerging pathogenic chytrid fungi
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14742
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms14742
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Comparative genomics, Evolutionary genetics, Fungal host response, Transcriptomics
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10038701
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