As reported in the journal Plant Disease, a recent collaboration between National Library of Medicine’s NCBI and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) analyzed public sequence records for the fungal genus Colletotrichum, an important group of fungal plant pathogens that are a significant threat to food production. Colletotrichum species are challenging to identify accurately, and public sequences may contain out of date taxonomic information. The study improved the accuracy of species names assigned to Colletotrichum database sequences, verified a comprehensive set of reliable reference markers for the genus, and produced a multi-marker tree as well as the genome based interactive tree shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Views from genome assembly derived multi-protein distance tree that shows the analysis of publicly available Colletotrichum genomes. The interactive tree is available online. You can browse, search, download, and export the tree. As an example search, you can demonstrate that assembly GCA_002901105.1 was incorrectly labeled as Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. Searching the tree for the name “Colletotrichum gloeosporioides” highlights two clades. Clicking the node for the Truncatum species complex and clicking “Show descendants” expands the clade and shows that assembly GCA_002901105.1, which was labelled as gloeosporioides, clusters with the Truncatum species complex. You can find more details on the tree building process in the supplementary material for the publication and on GitHub.
Continue reading “Fungal species identification using DNA: an NCBI and USDA-APHIS collaboration with a focus on Colletotrichum”