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Elicitin genes in Phytophthora infestans are clustered and interspersed with various transposon-like elements


Sequencing and annotation of a contiguous stretch of genomic DNA (112.3 kb) from the oomycete plant pathogen Phytophthora infestans revealed the order, spacing and genomic context of four members of the elicitin (inf) gene family. Analysis of the GC content at the third codon position (GC3) of six genes encoded in the region, and a set of randomly selected coding regions as well as random genomic regions, showed that a high GC3 value is a general feature of Phytophthora genes that can be exploited to optimize gene prediction programs for Phytophthora species. At least one-third of the annotated 112.3-kb P. infestans sequence consisted of transposons or transposon-like elements. The most prominent were four Tc3/gypsy and Tc1/copia type retrotransposons and three DNA transposons that belong to the Tc1/mariner, Pogo and PiggyBac groups, respectively. Comparative analysis of other available genomic sequences suggests that transposable elements are highly heterogeneous and ubiquitous in the P. infestans genome.

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We are grateful to Sharmili Mathur for expert technical assistance, Steve Whisson for providing the BAC library and filters, Grardy van den Berg for screening the BAC library, and Pierre de Wit for critically reading the manuscript. This work was financially supported by NWO-Aspasia Grant No. 015.000.057 and USDA Cooperative Agreement No. 58-8230-6-081. The authors acknowledge Syngenta for access to the Syngenta Phytophthora Consortium EST Database, and the Broad Institute and the DOE Joint Genome Institute for depositing random genomic sequences of P. infestans and P. sojae, respectively, in the NCBI trace file archive

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Correspondence to Francine Govers.

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Jiang, R.H.Y., Dawe, A.L., Weide, R. et al. Elicitin genes in Phytophthora infestans are clustered and interspersed with various transposon-like elements. Mol Genet Genomics 273, 20–32 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00438-005-1114-0

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  • Class I element
  • Class II element
  • Late blight
  • CHROMO domain