A genomic comparison of putative pathogenicity-related gene families in five members of the Ophiostomatales with different lifestyles


  • L. Lah
  • U. Löber
  • T. Hsiang
  • S. Hartmann


  • Fungal Biology


  • Fungal Biol 121 (3): 234-252


  • Ophiostomatoid fungi are vectored by their bark-beetle associates and colonize different host tree species. To survive and proliferate in the host, they have evolved mechanisms for detoxification and elimination of host defence compounds, efficient nutrient sequestration, and, in pathogenic species, virulence towards plants. Here, we assembled a draft genome of the spruce pathogen Ophiostoma bicolor. For our comparative and phylogenetic analyses, we mined the genomes of closely related species (Ophiostoma piceae, Ophiostoma ulmi, Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, and Grosmannia clavigera). Our aim was to acquire a genomic and evolutionary perspective of gene families important in host colonization. Genome comparisons showed that both the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes in our assembly were largely complete. Our O. bicolor 25.3 Mbp draft genome had 10 018 predicted genes, 6041 proteins with gene ontology (GO) annotation, 269 carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes), 559 peptidases and inhibitors, and 1373 genes likely involved in pathogen-host interactions. Phylogenetic analyses of selected protein families revealed core sets of cytochrome P450 genes, ABC transporters and backbone genes involved in secondary metabolite (SM) biosynthesis (polyketide synthases (PKS) and non-ribosomal synthases), and species-specific gene losses and duplications. Phylogenetic analyses of protein families of interest provided insight into evolutionary adaptations to host biochemistry in ophiostomatoid fungi.