Gene Structure and Variation in Phytophthora infestans: Resources for Understanding and Managing a Global Threat to Food Security
Genomic studies on pathogens have given insights to multiple horizons in research that include but are not limited to transcriptional landscaping, host-pathogen interactions, and evolution. These studies have elucidated the role of variation in pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains or species-specific adaptations. We have used genomic and RNA-Seq data to give insight to the genome of Phytophthora infestans, that causes late-blight disease in potato and tomato plants. This study has tried to correctly diagnose P. infestans in the fields, controlling it by elucidating the variation present in different isolates of P. infestans and understanding the mode of evolution among different oomycetes and finally understanding the transcriptional landscape of this pathogen. We have corrected the genome annotation of P. infestans helping us to identify pathogenicity related genes and better functional and structural annotation of the genome. We have also identified regions within the genome of different isolates of P. infestans that show variation and might help explain the differences that exist in terms of pathogenicity and host preferences. Apart from this we have also identified differences and similarities in gene expression levels in different oomycetes in different developmental stages.