Genome sequences of Phytophthora enable translational plant disease management and accelerate research

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology, Volume 34, Number 1, p.13-19 (2012)



Whole and partial genome sequences are becoming available at an ever-increasing pace. For many plant pathogen systems, we are moving into the era of genome resequencing. The first Phytophthora genomes, P. ramorum and P. sojae, became available in 2004, followed shortly by P. infestans in 2006. Availability of whole genome sequences has provided rapid and immediate advances in several areas also resulting in many practical applications and critical new insights. Availability of comparative genome data facilitated discovery of new classes of effectors, such as the RxLR-dEER and crinkler effector families. Genome data also enabled development of molecular markers for population genomic approaches that provided critical new insights into the evolutionary history of species and clades of Phytophthora. Several select examples of advances resulting from comparative genomic approaches in a concerted effort of the Oomycete research community are reviewed.