04 May 2023 -  Comparative genomics of the biochemical arsenal in the Botryosphaeriaceae family

04 May 2023 - Comparative genomics of the biochemical arsenal in the Botryosphaeriaceae family

04 May 2023 - Comparative genomics of the biochemical arsenal in the Botryosphaeriaceae family

To understand the virulence differences and their link with the genomic variations, we compared the abundance of effector genes in 41 Botryosphaeriaceae strains representing 17 species with their pathogenicity. We also discussed the potential use of Botryosphaeriaceae fungi in biotechnological applications.

The Botryosphaeriaceae family comprises numerous destructive plant pathogenic fungi. They present a worldwide distribution and cause economically meaningful diseases in a wide range of crops. To cause disease, the Botryosphaeriaceae fungi deploy a complex biochemical arsenal of effectors, including cell wall-degrading enzymes, peptidases, and secondary metabolites. However, the ability to produce these effectors, which relates to virulence, varies among species.

To understand the virulence differences and their link with the genomic variations, we compared the abundance of effector genes in 41 Botryosphaeriaceae strains representing 17 species with their pathogenicity. We also discussed the potential use of Botryosphaeriaceae fungi in biotechnological applications.

We showed that Botryosphaeriaceae strains possess a large diversity of Carbohydrate-Active Enzymes (CAZymes), peptidases, and secondary metabolite gene clusters. In particular, secreted CAZymes and peptidases were highly abundant in Neofusicoccum parvum strain NpBt67. Interestingly, this strain usually manifests higher virulence than other Botryosphaeriaceae. Conversely, strains from the genus Diplodia showed a low effector gene richness, which correlates with their low virulence. All together, these results may be helpful for future studies focused on the mechanisms underlying pathogenicity and virulence in Botryosphaeriaceae fungi.

In addition, we noted that Botryosphaeriaceae possess higher CAZymes richness than typical industrial-use fungi. Those CAZymes might be of interest in the context of plant biorefining. These findings support the idea that Botryosphaeriaceae fungi could be used for lignocellulose fractionation and bioeconomy.

This work is part of Julian Restrepo-Leal’s Ph.D. thesis, carried out between the UMR FARE (AFERE Chair) and the RIBP USC INRAE 1488 lab (MALDIVE Chair), with funding from University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne and Grand Reims.

Read: Restrepo-Leal JD, Belair M, Praz C, Fontaine F, Rémond C, Fernandez O, Besaury L. (2023). Botryosphaeriaceae gene machinery: Correlation between diversity and virulence. Fungal Biology 127:1010-1031. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.funbio.2023.03.004 

Contact: ludovic-besaury@univ-reims.fr

Modification date : 06 June 2023 | Publication date : 04 May 2023 | Redactor : Julian Restrepo-Leal