Rapid identification of the Leptosphaeria maculans avirulence gene AvrLm2 using an intraspecific comparative genomics approach.

Ghanbarnia, K., Fudal, I., Larkan, N.J., Links, M.G., Balesdent, M.H., Profotová, B., Fernando, W.G.D., Rouxel, T., and Borhan, M.H. (2015). "Rapid identification of the Leptosphaeria maculans avirulence gene AvrLm2 using an intraspecific comparative genomics approach.", Molecular Plant Pathology, 16(7), pp. 699-709. doi : 10.1111/mpp.12228  Access to full text

Abstract

Five avirulence genes from Leptosphaeria maculans, the causal agent of blackleg of canola (Brassica napus), have been identified previously through map-based cloning. In this study, a comparative genomic approach was used to clone the previously mapped AvrLm2. Given the lack of a presence–absence gene polymorphism coincident with the AvrLm2 phenotype, 36 L. maculans isolates were resequenced and analysed for single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in predicted small secreted protein-encoding genes present within the map interval. Three SNPs coincident with the AvrLm2 phenotype were identified within LmCys1, previously identified as a putative effector-coding gene. Complementation of a virulent isolate with LmCys1, as the candidate AvrLm2 allele, restored the avirulent phenotype on Rlm2-containing B. napus lines. AvrLm2 encodes a small cysteine-rich protein with low similarity to other proteins in the public databases. Unlike other avirulence genes, AvrLm2 resides in a small GC island within an AT-rich isochore of the genome, and was never found to be deleted completely in virulent isolates.

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