Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Crack Complete Genome of Soybean Rust Pathogen

October 10, 2019

An international team of researchers from 11 research institutions has successfully assembled the complete genome sequence of the pathogen that causes the devastating disease Asian soybean rust. The new dataset comprises the genome sequence of three isolates (K8108, MG2006 & PPUFV02), of which one has been assembled at chromosome level detail (PPUFV02). Two of the isolates are from Brazil, the world's largest soybean producer, and where soybean rust is a huge problem for farmers.

The breakthrough marks a critical step in addressing the threat of the genetically complex and highly adaptive fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi which has one of the largest genomes of all plant pathogens. The complex genome of P. pachyrhizi is 60 times bigger than the yeast genome, composed of 93% repetitive elements and possesses two nuclei. This has delayed the sequencing progress and required advanced technologies to complete the task. The consortium has also generated a transcriptome atlas of all the fungal structures and infection stages of the pathogen.

For more details, read the news release from The Sainsbury Laboratory.

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