Editor's Summary

2 November 2006

Genome of a maize pathogen


Ustilago maydis is an important fungal pathogen of maize, causing corn smut. It is well adapted to its host and proliferates in living plant tissue without inducing a defence response. The genome sequence of U. maydis has now been determined, the first for a biotrophic plant parasite. Several gene clusters that encode secreted proteins of unknown function were identified: genome-wide expression analysis shows that the clustered genes are upregulated during disease. Mutations in these gene clusters frequently affect virulence, ranging from complete loss of pathogenicity to hypervirulence.

LetterInsights from the genome of the biotrophic fungal plant pathogen Ustilago maydis

Jörg Kämper, Regine Kahmann, Michael Bölker, Li-Jun Ma, Thomas Brefort, Barry J. Saville, Flora Banuett, James W. Kronstad, Scott E. Gold, Olaf Müller, Michael H. Perlin, Han A. B. Wösten, Ronald de Vries, José Ruiz-Herrera, Cristina G. Reynaga-Peña, Karen Snetselaar, Michael McCann, José Pérez-Martín, Michael Feldbrügge, Christoph W. Basse, Gero Steinberg, Jose I. Ibeas, William Holloman, Plinio Guzman, Mark Farman, Jason E. Stajich, Rafael Sentandreu, Juan M. González-Prieto, John C. Kennell, Lazaro Molina, Jan Schirawski, Artemio Mendoza-Mendoza, Doris Greilinger, Karin Münch, Nicole Rössel, Mario Scherer, Miroslav Vranes caron, Oliver Ladendorf, Volker Vincon, Uta Fuchs, Björn Sandrock, Shaowu Meng, Eric C. H. Ho, Matt J. Cahill, Kylie J. Boyce, Jana Klose, Steven J. Klosterman, Heine J. Deelstra, Lucila Ortiz-Castellanos, Weixi Li, Patricia Sanchez-Alonso, Peter H. Schreier, Isolde Häuser-Hahn, Martin Vaupel, Edda Koopmann, Gabi Friedrich, Hartmut Voss, Thomas Schlüter, Jonathan Margolis, Darren Platt, Candace Swimmer, Andreas Gnirke, Feng Chen, Valentina Vysotskaia, Gertrud Mannhaupt, Ulrich Güldener, Martin Münsterkötter, Dirk Haase, Matthias Oesterheld, Hans-Werner Mewes, Evan W. Mauceli, David DeCaprio, Claire M. Wade, Jonathan Butler, Sarah Young, David B. Jaffe, Sarah Calvo, Chad Nusbaum, James Galagan and Bruce W. Birren

doi:10.1038/nature05248