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1.  Transcriptomic analysis of the interaction between Helianthus annuus and its obligate parasite Plasmopara halstedii shows single nucleotide polymorphisms in CRN sequences 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:498.
Downy mildew in sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) is caused by the oomycete Plasmopara halstedii (Farl.) Berlese et de Toni. Despite efforts by the international community to breed mildew-resistant varieties, downy mildew remains a major threat to the sunflower crop. Very few genomic, genetic and molecular resources are currently available to study this pathogen. Using a 454 sequencing method, expressed sequence tags (EST) during the interaction between H. annuus and P. halstedii have been generated and a search was performed for sites in putative effectors to show polymorphisms between the different races of P. halstedii.
A 454 pyrosequencing run of two infected sunflower samples (inbred lines XRQ and PSC8 infected with race 710 of P. halstedii, which exhibit incompatible and compatible interactions, respectively) generated 113,720 and 172,107 useable reads. From these reads, 44,948 contigs and singletons have been produced. A bioinformatic portal, HP, was specifically created for in-depth analysis of these clusters. Using in silico filtering, 405 clusters were defined as being specific to oomycetes, and 172 were defined as non-specific oomycete clusters. A subset of these two categories was checked using PCR amplification, and 86% of the tested clusters were validated. Twenty putative RXLR and CRN effectors were detected using PSI-BLAST. Using corresponding sequences from four races (100, 304, 703 and 710), 22 SNPs were detected, providing new information on pathogen polymorphisms.
This study identified a large number of genes that are expressed during H. annuus/P. halstedii compatible or incompatible interactions. It also reveals, for the first time, that an infection mechanism exists in P. halstedii similar to that in other oomycetes associated with the presence of putative RXLR and CRN effectors. SNPs discovered in CRN effector sequences were used to determine the genetic distances between the four races of P. halstedii. This work therefore provides valuable tools for further discoveries regarding the H. annuus/P. halstedii pathosystem.
PMCID: PMC3204308  PMID: 21988821
2.  Translational Genomics in Legumes Allowed Placing In Silico 5460 Unigenes on the Pea Functional Map and Identified Candidate Genes in Pisum sativum L. 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2011;1(2):93-103.
To identify genes involved in phenotypic traits, translational genomics from highly characterized model plants to poorly characterized crop plants provides a valuable source of markers to saturate a zone of interest as well as functionally characterized candidate genes. In this paper, an integrated view of the pea genetic map was developed. A series of gene markers were mapped and their best reciprocal homologs were identified on M. truncatula, L. japonicus, soybean, and poplar pseudomolecules. Based on the syntenic relationships uncovered between pea and M. truncatula, 5460 pea Unigenes were tentatively placed on the consensus map. A new bioinformatics tool,, was developed that allows, for any gene sequence, to search its putative position on the pea consensus map and hence to search for candidate genes among neighboring Unigenes. As an example, a promising candidate gene for the hypernodulation mutation nod3 in pea was proposed based on the map position of the likely homolog of Pub1, a M. truncatula gene involved in nodulation regulation. A broader view of pea genome evolution was obtained by revealing syntenic relationships between pea and sequenced genomes. Blocks of synteny were identified which gave new insights into the evolution of chromosome structure in Papillionoids and Eudicots. The power of the translational genomics approach was underlined.
PMCID: PMC3276132  PMID: 22384322
Pisum sativum; functional consensus map; synteny; model legume species; translational genomics

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