Home • Alternaria alternata MPI-PUGE-AT-0064 v1.0
Photo of Alternaria alternata MPI-PUGE-AT-0064 v1.0
Alternaria alternata growing in the lab.
Image Credit: Stephane Hacquard

This genome was sequenced as part of the 1000 Fungal Genomes Project - Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya, and more specifically as part of the Endophyte Genome Sequencing project, which seeks to sequence members of diverse lineages of endophytic species found in Arabidopsis, Populus and other plants to examine the functional diversity of fungi with a shared evolutionary history.

The genus Alternaria (Ascomycota phylum, Dothideomycetes class, Pleosporales order) includes pathogens on living plants and saprophytes on organic substrates. Alternaria alternata is a ubiquitous, saprophytic fungus that has been isolated from various dead plant materials. The fungus is also a weak pathogen causing indefinite or opportunistic disease on a number of crops. The fungus produces host-selective toxins with a diverse range of structures that function as effectors controlling pathogenicity or virulence. The secretion of host-selective toxins by A. alternata leads to diverse fungal diseases on specific plants. Several A. alternata isolates have been isolated from the roots of healthy plants, suggesting they can also live benignly as endophyte within plant tissues. The sequenced Alternaria alternata MPI-PUGE-AT-0064 has been isolated from healthy Arabidopsis thaliana plants grown in natural soil after surface sterilization of plant roots. The sequencing of this fungal isolate is part of a larger project aiming at sequencing the genomes of numerous phylogenetically diverse root-associated fungi from Arabidopsis, Populus, and other plant hosts for further comparative genome analysis. Unravelling the genomic signatures reflecting the adaptation of these microbes to the host cell environment represent a promising way to better understand how the endophytic lifestyle evolved in phylogenetically unrelated fungal species. Comparative genome analysis between saprotrophic, mycorrhizal, and pathogenic fungi will provide new insights into the specific adaptations but also the conserved signatures associated with these different fungal lifestyles.

Researchers who wish to publish analyses using data from unpublished CSP genomes are respectfully required to contact the PI and JGI to avoid potential conflicts on data use and coordinate other publications with the CSP master paper(s).