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.