Generation and analysis of expressed sequence tags from Botrytis cinerea
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Botrytis cinerea is a filamentous plant pathogen of a wide range of plant species, and its infection may cause enormous damage both during plant growth and in the post-harvest phase. We have constructed a cDNA library from an isolate of B. cinerea and have sequenced 11,482 expressed sequence tags that were assembled into 1,003 contigs sequences and 3,032 singletons. Approximately 81% of the unigenes showed significant similarity to genes coding for proteins with known functions: more than 50% of the sequences code for genes involved in cellular metabolism, 12% for transport of metabolites, and approximately 10% for cellular organization. Other functional categories include responses to biotic and abiotic stimuli, cell communication, cell homeostasis, and cell development. We carried out pair-wise comparisons with fungal databases to determine the B. cinerea unisequence set with relevant similarity to genes in other fungal pathogenic counterparts. Among the 4,035 non-redundant B. cinerea unigenes, 1,338 (23%) have significant homology with Fusarium verticillioides unigenes. Similar values were obtained for Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Aspergillus nidulans (22% and 24%, respectively). The lower percentages of homology were with Magnaporthe grisae and Neurospora crassa (13% and 19%, respectively). Several genes involved in putative and known fungal virulence and general pathogenicity were identified. The results provide important information for future research on this fungal pathogen.