Distribution and expression of elicitin genes in the interspecific hybrid oomycete Phytophthora alni

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Appl. Environ. Microbiol., Volume 73, p.5587-5597 (2007)




Phytophthora alni subsp. alni, P. alni subsp. multiformis, and P. alni subsp. uniformis are responsible for alder disease in Europe. Class I and II elicitin gene patterns of P. alni subsp. alni, P. alni subsp. multiformis, P. alni subsp. uniformis, and the phylogenetically close species P. cambivora and P. fragariae were studied through mRNA sequencing and 3' untranslated region (3'UTR)-specific PCRs and sequencing. The occurrence of multiple 3'UTR sequences in association with identical elicitin-encoding sequences in P. alni subsp. alni indicated duplication/recombination events. The mRNA pattern displayed by P. alni subsp. alni demonstrated that elicitin genes from all the parental genomes are actually expressed in this allopolyploid taxon. The complementary elicitin patterns resolved confirmed the possible involvement of P. alni subsp. multiformis and P. alni subsp. uniformis in the genesis of the hybrid species P. alni subsp. alni. The occurrence of multiple and common elicitin gene sequences throughout P. cambivora, P. fragariae, and P. alni sensu lato, not observed in other Phytophthora species, suggests that duplication of these genes occurred before the radiation of these species.