The gene repertoire of Pythium porphyrae (Oomycota) suggests an adapted plant pathogen tackling red algae

Yacine Badis, Jong Won Han, Tatyana A. Klochkova, Claire M. M. Gachon, Gwang Hoon Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
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Pythium porphyrae is responsible for devastating outbreaks in seaweed farms of Pyropia, the most valuable cultivated seaweed worldwide. While the genus Pythium contains many well studied pathogens, the genome of P. porphyrae has yet to be sequenced. Here we report the first available gene repertoire of P. porphyrae and a preliminary analysis of pathogenicity-related genes. Using ab initio detection strategies, similarity based and manual annotation, we found that the P. porphyrae gene repertoire is similar to classical phytopathogenic Pythium species. This includes the absence of expanded RxLR effector family and the detection of classical pathogenicity-related genes like crinklers, glycoside hydrolases, cellulose-binding elicitor lectin-like proteins and elicitins. We additionally compared this dataset to the proteomes of 8 selected Pythium species. While 34% of the predicted proteome appeared specific to P. porphyrae, we could not attribute specific enzymes to the degradation of red algal biomass. Conversely, we detected several cellulases and a cutinase conserved with plant-pathogenic Pythium species. Together with the recent report of P. porphyrae triggering disease symptoms on several plant species in lab-controlled conditions, our findings add weight to the hypothesis that P. porphyrae is a reformed plant pathogen.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-144
Number of pages11
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • aquaculture
  • disease
  • oomycete
  • Pyropia
  • Pythium
  • transcriptome


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