Analysis of the Pythium ultimum transcriptome using Sanger and Pyrosequencing approaches

Pythium species are an agriculturally important genus of plant pathogens, yet are not understood well at the molecular, genetic, or genomic level. They are closely related to other oomycete plant pathogens such as Phytophthora species and are ubiquitous in their geographic distribution and host rage.

To gain a better understanding of its gene complement, we generated Expressed Sequence Tags (ESTs) from the transcriptome of Pythium ultimum DAOM BR144 (=ATCC 200006 = CBS 805.95) using two high throughput sequencing methods, Sanger-based chain termination sequencing and pyrosequencing-based sequencing-by-synthesis.

Results: A single half-plate pyrosequencing (454 FLX) run on adapter-ligated cDNA from a normalized cDNA library generated 90,664 reads with an average read length of 190 nucleotides following cleaning and removal of sequences shorter than 100 base pairs.

After clustering and assembly, a total of 35,507 unique sequences were generated. In parallel, 9,578 reads were generated from the same cDNA library using dideoxy chain termination Sanger sequencing which upon clustering and assembly generated 4,689 unique sequences.

A hybrid assembly of both Sanger- and pyrosequencing-derived ESTs resulted in 34,495 unique sequences with 1,110 sequences (3.2 %) that were solely derived from Sanger sequencing alone. A high degree of similarity was seen between P.

ultimum sequences and other sequenced plant pathogenic oomycetes with 91% of the hybrid assembly derived sequences > 500 bp having similarity to sequences from plant pathogenic Phytophthora species. An analysis of Gene Ontology assignments revealed a similar representation of molecular function ontologies in the hybrid assembly in comparison to the predicted proteomes of three Phytophthora species, suggesting a broad representation of the P.

ultimum transcriptome was present in the normalized cDNA population. P.

ultimum sequences with similarity to oomycete RXLR and Crinkler effectors, Kazal-like and cystatin-like protease inhibitors, and elicitins were identified. Sequences with similarity to thiamine biosynthesis enzymes that are lacking in the genome sequences of three Phytophthora species and one downy mildew were identified and could serve as useful phylogenetic markers.

Furthermore, we identified 179 candidate simple sequence repeats that can be used for genotyping strains of P. ultimum.

Conclusions: Through these two technologies, we were able to generate a robust set (~10 Mb) of transcribed sequences for P. ultimum.

We were able to identify known sequences present in oomycetes as well as identify novel sequences. An ample number of candidate polymorphic markers were identified in the dataset providing resources for phylogenetic and diagnostic marker development for this species.

On a technical level, in spite of the depth possible with 454 FLX platform, the Sanger and pyro-based sequencing methodologies were complementary as each method generated sequences unique to each platform.

Author: Foo Cheung, Joe Win, Jillian M Lang, John Hamilton, Hue Vuong, Jan E Leach, Sophien Kamoun, C ANDRE Levesque, Ned Tisserat and C ROBIN Buell
Credits/Source: BMC Genomics 2008, 9:542

Published on: 2008-11-15

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