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Home • Alternaria alternata ATCC66891
Alternaria alternata
Alternaria alternata
Image Credit: Ha X. Dang

The genome sequence and gene prediction of Alternaria alternata ATCC66891 have not been determined by the Joint Genome Institute (JGI), but were provided by Christopher Lawrence and Ha X. Dang in Aug 2019 (Alternaria Genomes Database - AGD). In order to allow comparative analyses with other fungal genomes sequenced by the JGI, a copy of this genome is incorporated into Mycocosm. We have removed small scaffolds (<1kb) without gene models, and it thus differs from the original data present in the AGD. Please note that this copy of the genome is not maintained by the original authors and is therefore not automatically updated. JGI tools were used to automatically annotate predicted proteins.

Alternaria species are one of the most common fungi encountered by humans. Estimates of the number of species range from approximately 100 to several hundred, although specific data are difficult to assess due to the proliferation of nomenclatural synonyms of dubious taxonomic validity. Many species are common saprobes found in a variety of habitats and are ubiquitous agents of decay. Citations from literature report recovery from such diverse substrates as sewage, leather, marine organisms, plants, wood pulp, paper, textiles, building supplies, stone monuments, optical instruments, cosmetics, computer disks, and jet fuel. As plant pathogens, thousands of Alternaria/host associations are recorded in the USDA Fungal Host Index. As decomposers of foodstuffs, Alternaria species are ubiquitous postharvest pathogens and contribute to the spoilage of much of our agricultural output. In contrast, several Alternaria species have shown promise as beneficial biocontrol agents of certain weed pests and as mycoparasites of other fungal pathogens.

In medical mycology, Alternaria species are gaining prominence as emerging human pathogens, particularly in immune-compromised patients. Several Alternaria species and numerous uncharacterized Alternaria taxa have been found associated with infections of the cornea, oral and sinus cavities, respiratory tract, nails, and skin. Perhaps more importantly, Alternaria spores, especially from A. alternata, are one of the most common and potent sources of indoor and outdoor airborne allergens. Additionally, Alternaria sensitization has been determined to be one of the most important factors in the onset and exacerbation of childhood and fatal asthma. There may also be a clinical association with another allergic disease of the sinus, chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS). Alternaria species are some of the most prodigious producers of toxic secondary metabolites, producing over 70 compounds of varying toxicity. Some of these metabolites are powerful mycotoxins with mutagenic and teratogenic properties, and have been linked to certain forms of cancer. The occurrence of Alternaria secondary metabolites in foodstuffs such as grains, peanuts, tomato products, apple sauce, olive oil, and fresh fruits and vegetables is becoming an increasing environmental concern. In summary, few fungal taxa can match the global impact of Alternaria on humans and human activities.

The AGD contained genome sequences and associated annotations for Alternaria species. The acquisition, analysis and display of genome sequencing and annotation data therein was supported by grant funding to Dr. Christopher B. Lawrence (Virginia Bioinformatics Institute [VBI], Virginia Tech) from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Grant # NIFA 2004-35600-15030), The National Science Foundation (NSF DEB-0918298), and VBI. Funding for this resource was also provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF DEB-0918758) to Dr. Barry Pryor (University of Arizona) and (NSF DEB-0918668) to Dr. Tobin Peever (Washington State University).