Genomic analysis of the necrotrophic fungal pathogens sclerotinia sclerotiorum and botrytis cinerea

Joelle Amselem*, Christina A. Cuomo, Jan A.L. van Kan, Muriel Viaud, Ernesto P. Benito, Arnaud Couloux, Pedro M. Coutinho, Ronald P. de Vries, Paul S. Dyer, Sabine Fillinger, Elisabeth Fournier, Lilian Gout, Matthias Hahn, Linda Kohn, Nicolas Lapalu, Kim M. Plummer, Jean Marc Pradier, Emmanuel Quévillon, Amir Sharon, Adeline SimonArjen Have, Bettina Tudzynski, Paul Tudzynski, Patrick Wincker, Marion Andrew, Véronique Anthouard, Ross E. Beever, Rolland Beffa, Isabelle Benoit, Ourdia Bouzid, Baptiste Brault, Zehua Chen, Mathias Choquer, Jérome Collémare, Pascale Cotton, Etienne G. Danchin, Corinne Da Silva, Angélique Gautier, Corinne Giraud, Tatiana Giraud, Celedonio Gonzalez, Sandrine Grossetete, Ulrich Güldener, Bernard Henrissat, Barbara J. Howlett, Chinnappa Kodira, Matthias Kretschmer, Anne Lappartient, Michaela Leroch, Caroline Levis, Evan Mauceli, Cécile Neuvéglise, Birgitt Oeser, Matthew Pearson, Julie Poulain, Nathalie Poussereau, Hadi Quesneville, Christine Rascle, Julia Schumacher, Béatrice Ségurens, Adrienne Sexton, Evelyn Silva, Catherine Sirven, Darren M. Soanes, Nicholas J. Talbot, Matt Templeton, Chandri Yandava, Oded Yarden, Qiandong Zeng, Jeffrey A. Rollins, Marc Henri Lebrun, Marty Dickman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

765 Scopus citations


Sclerotinia sclerotiorum and Botrytis cinerea are closely related necrotrophic plant pathogenic fungi notable for their wide host ranges and environmental persistence. These attributes have made these species models for understanding the complexity of necrotrophic, broad host-range pathogenicity. Despite their similarities, the two species differ in mating behaviour and the ability to produce asexual spores. We have sequenced the genomes of one strain of S. sclerotiorum and two strains of B. cinerea. The comparative analysis of these genomes relative to one another and to other sequenced fungal genomes is provided here. Their 38-39 Mb genomes include 11,860-14,270 predicted genes, which share 83% amino acid identity on average between the two species. We have mapped the S. sclerotiorum assembly to 16 chromosomes and found large-scale co-linearity with the B. cinerea genomes. Seven percent of the S. sclerotiorum genome comprises transposable elements compared to <1% of B. cinerea. The arsenal of genes associated with necrotrophic processes is similar between the species, including genes involved in plant cell wall degradation and oxalic acid production. Analysis of secondary metabolism gene clusters revealed an expansion in number and diversity of B. cinerea-specific secondary metabolites relative to S. sclerotiorum. The potential diversity in secondary metabolism might be involved in adaptation to specific ecological niches. Comparative genome analysis revealed the basis of differing sexual mating compatibility systems between S. sclerotiorum and B. cinerea. The organization of the mating-type loci differs, and their structures provide evidence for the evolution of heterothallism from homothallism. These data shed light on the evolutionary and mechanistic bases of the genetically complex traits of necrotrophic pathogenicity and sexual mating. This resource should facilitate the functional studies designed to better understand what makes these fungi such successful and persistent pathogens of agronomic crops.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere1002230
JournalPLoS Genetics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2011


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