Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    ‘Speciale technieken alleen voor topfokkerij': Gary Hennip voorspelt het einde van KI als geavanceerde technieken worden gecombineerd
    Hogenkamp, W. ; Veerkamp, R.F. - \ 2014
    Boerderij 99 (2014)27. - ISSN 0006-5617 - p. 38 - 38.
    veehouderij - dierveredeling - fokwaarde - kunstmatige inseminatie - genetica - genomen - technieken - nieuwe combinatie - toekomst - livestock farming - animal breeding - breeding value - artificial insemination - genetics - genomes - techniques - new combination - future
    Gary Hennip, onderzoeker bij Penn State University (VS), denkt dat ki overbodig is bij slim combineren van technieken als ovum pick-up, ivf, genomics en sperma seksen op het bedrijf. Boerderij legt de stelling voor aan professor generieke genetcia Roel Veerkamp.
    Physiology and biochemistry of aromatic hydrocarbon-degrading bacteria that use chlorate and/or nitrate as electron acceptor
    Oosterkamp, M.J. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Fons Stams, co-promotor(en): Caroline Plugge; Peter Schaap. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461737779 - 191
    bacteriën - aromatische koolwaterstoffen - fysiologie - biochemie - elektronen - genomen - nitraten - chloraten - microbiologie - bacteria - aromatic hydrocarbons - physiology - biochemistry - electrons - genomes - nitrates - chlorates - microbiology
    Optimizing genomic selection for scarcely recorded traits
    Pszczola, M.J. - \ 2013
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Johan van Arendonk, co-promotor(en): Mario Calus; T. Strabel. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789461737663 - 158
    melkvee - genomen - selectief fokken - genetische verbetering - fokwaarde - fenotypen - genotypen - kenmerken - voeropname - dierveredeling - dairy cattle - genomes - selective breeding - genetic improvement - breeding value - phenotypes - genotypes - traits - feed intake - animal breeding

    Animal breeding aims to genetically improve animal populations by selecting the best individuals as parents of the next generation. New traits are being introduced to breeding goals to satisfy new demands faced by livestock production. Selecting for novel traits is especially challenging when recording is laborious and expensive and large scale recording is not possible. Genetic improvement of novel traits may be thus limited due to the small number of observations. New breeding tools, such as genomic selection, are therefore needed to enable the genetic improvement of novel traits. Using the limited available data optimally may, however, require alternative approaches and methodologies than currently used for conventional breeding goal traits. The overall objective of this thesis was to investigate different options for optimizing genomic selection for scarcely recorded novel traits. The investigated options were: (1) genotype imputation for ungenotyped but phenotyped animals to be used to enlarge the reference population; (2) optimization of the design of the reference population with respect to the relationships among the animals included in it; (3) prioritizing genotyping of the reference population or the selection candidates; and (4) using easily recordable predictor traits to improve the accuracy of breeding values for scarcely recorded traits. Results showed that: (1) including ungenotyped animals to the reference population can lead to a limited increase in the breeding values accuracy; (2) the reference population is designed optimally when the relationship within the reference are minimized and between reference population and potential selection candidates maximized; (3) the main gain in accuracy when moving from traditional to genomic selection is due to genotyping the selection candidates, but preferably both reference population and selection candidates should be genotyped; and (4) including the predictor traits in the analysis when it is recorded on both reference population and selection candidates can lead to a significant increase in the selection accuracy. The key factors for successful implementation of selection for a novel trait in a breeding scheme are: (1) maximizing accuracy of genotype prediction for ungenotyped animals to be used for updating the reference population; (2) optimizing the design of the reference population; (3) determining easy to record indicator traits that are also available on the selection candidates (4) developing large scale phenotyping techniques; and (5) establishing strategies and policies for increasing the engagement of farmers in the recording of novel traits.

    De tomatenkaart is klaar, wat nu?
    Finkers, H.J. ; Visser, R.G.F. - \ 2013
    Kennis Online 10 (2013)mei. - p. 3 - 5.
    moleculaire genetica - plantengenetica - dna-sequencing - tomaten - rassen (planten) - plantenveredeling - genetische bronnen van plantensoorten - genomen - molecular genetics - plant genetics - dna sequencing - tomatoes - varieties - plant breeding - plant genetic resources - genomes
    In 2012 publiceerde Nature de genomische sequentie van de tomaat. Maar daarmee is het werk niet af, zegt Richard Finkers. Hij bepaalde de basenvolgorde van nog eens 150 verwanten van de modeltomaat, om plantenveredelaars in staat te stellen op zoek te gaan naar nieuwe genen in oude rassen.
    Genomics in de fokkerij: in tien jaar van topwetenschap naar big business
    Arendonk, J.A.M. van; Groenen, M. - \ 2013
    Kennis Online 10 (2013)mei. - p. 7 - 8.
    dierveredeling - genomica - fokkerijmethoden - moleculaire technieken - single nucleotide polymorphism - selectiemethoden - melkvee - varkens - genomen - animal breeding - genomics - animal breeding methods - molecular techniques - single nucleotide polymorphism - selection methods - dairy cattle - pigs - genomes
    Genomics was tien jaar geleden topwetenschap die alleen bedreven werd in dure laboratoria van universiteiten en onderzoeksinstituten. Nu gebruiken fokbedrijven DNA-chips om al op jonge leeftijd te kunnen voorspellen welke stier het beste sperma levert, en om te zien of berengeur bij varkens door een slim fokprogramma kan worden voorkomen.
    'Ui is een puzzel met 150 duizend stukjes'
    Smulders, M.J.M. - \ 2013
    Kennis Online 10 (2013)mei. - p. 12 - 12.
    moleculaire genetica - dna-sequencing - genomen - plantenveredeling - onderzoek - molecular genetics - dna sequencing - genomes - plant breeding - research
    Om zeer grote genomen in kaart te kunnen brengen, moeten eerst fundamentele vragen worden opgelost. Zonder hulp van de overheid komen die antwoord er niet, zegt René Smulders. Terwijl grondige sequencing veredeling aantoonbaar versnelt.
    Use of SNP markers to conserve genome-wide genetic diversity in livestock
    Engelsma, K.A. - \ 2012
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Johan van Arendonk, co-promotor(en): Jack Windig. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461733863 - 178
    dierveredeling - rundvee - single nucleotide polymorphism - genetische diversiteit - genomen - genomica - conservering - animal breeding - cattle - single nucleotide polymorphism - genetic diversity - genomes - genomics - conservation

    Conservation of genetic diversity in livestock breeds is important since it is, both within and between breeds, under threat. The availability of large numbers of SNP markers has resulted in new opportunities to estimate genetic diversity in more detail, and to improve prioritization of animals for conservation of genetic diversity. The aim of this thesis was to further explore the potential of SNP markers for estimation and conservation of genetic diversity within livestock breeds. This was evaluated analyzing Holstein cattle populations, genotyped with a commonly used 50k SNP chip. Genetic diversity was estimated with SNP markers and compared to genetic diversity estimated with pedigree information. Both methods could detect differences in overall genetic diversity, even between two closely related populations. With SNP markers, differences in genetic diversity at the chromosomal level could be identified as well. Subsequently, SNP markers and pedigree information were used to prioritize animals for conservation in a gene bank using optimal contributions. SNP based prioritization was slightly more effective than pedigree based information, both over the whole genome and at specific regions of the genome. We extended the optimal contribution method to simultaneously conserve a single allele at a specific frequency and maximize the overall genetic diversity conserved in a gene bank. The loss of overall genetic diversity was larger when the target frequency for animals conserved in the gene bank differed more from the original frequency in the population. It can be concluded that dense SNP data form a powerful tool for estimation and conservation of genetic diversity in livestock breeds. Although pedigree information gives a good representation of the overall genetic diversity, SNP markers can provide more detailed information about the genetic diversity over the genome. Especially for small populations, SNP markers can play an important role in conservation of unique alleles, while simultaneously minimizing the loss of genetic diversity at the rest of the genome.

    The role and evolution of fungal effectors in plant pathogenesis
    Jonge, R. de - \ 2012
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Pierre de Wit, co-promotor(en): Bart Thomma. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461733917 - 148
    plantenziekteverwekkende schimmels - moleculaire plantenziektekunde - evolutie - gastheer parasiet relaties - pathogenese - genomica - immuniteit - genomen - plant pathogenic fungi - molecular plant pathology - evolution - host parasite relationships - pathogenesis - genomics - immunity - genomes - cum laude
    cum laude graduation (with distinction)
    Co-option of pre-existing pathways during Rhizobium-legume symbiosis evolution
    Lillo, A. - \ 2012
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ton Bisseling, co-promotor(en): Rene Geurts. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461733443 - 151
    rhizobium - fabaceae - symbiose - evolutie - stikstoffixatie - wortels - fylogenetica - genomen - medicago - eerste wortels - rhizobium - fabaceae - symbiosis - evolution - nitrogen fixation - roots - phylogenetics - genomes - medicago - root primordia

    Fixed nitrogen is one of the most limiting factors for plant growth. One of the most important nitrogen-fixing systems is the rhizobium root nodule symbiosis. In this Thesis I have studied the legume-rhizobium symbiosis, starting from the idea that part of pre-existing signalling pathways have been co-opted during evolution of this mutualistic interaction. Gene duplications -of which a whole genome duplication (WGD) is the most dramatic variant- are known as important driving forces in evolution of new traits. 56 to 65 million years ago an ancestral legume species within the Papilionoidae subfamily (Papilionoids) experienced a WGD event and subsequently gave rise to several major phylogenetic crowns. I hypothesize that among the orthologous gene pairs maintained are genes that are essential for nodulation. I adopted a phylogenetic strategy to identify new candidate genes involved in the legume-Rhizobium symbiosis
    In a targeted approach, we focussed on the cytokinin phosphorelay pathway. This resulted in the identification of one gene pair encoding type-A Response Regulators (RRs) with a positive regulatory role for these proteins in root nodule formation. Yet the illustrated role for MtRR9 and MtRR11 in rhizobial symbiosis provides a proof of principle of this method to identify gene pairs involved in legume specific characters. An unbiased search for paralogous gene pairs revealed two conserved gene duplications in the NADPH oxidases gene family. NADPH oxidases are reactive oxygen species (ROS) producing enzymes. We identified two sets of duplicated genes that have been maintained after the Papilionoid specific WGD and we show that MtRBOHA and MtRBOHG are redundant, yet essential during symbiosis.
    Moreover, although it is commonly believed that exclusively pericycle cells give rise to the lateral root primordium, similar as seen in Arabidopsis thaliana, we provide morphological evidence that in the studied legume species this is not the case. In both, Lotus and Medicago, also root cortical cell divisions occur during lateral root formation. Furthermore, we found a striking correlation in the cell layers that are recruited during lateral root and nodule primordium formation. This supports the hypothesis that at least parts of the lateral root developmental program have been recruited during evolution of symbiotic root nodules.

    Waarom maakt aardappelplant knollen?
    Bachem, C.W.B. - \ 2012
    Kennis Online 9 (2012)mei. - p. 8 - 8.
    aardappelen - genomica - moleculaire genetica - genomen - genen - genexpressie - potatoes - genomics - molecular genetics - genomes - genes - gene expression
    Nu het aardappelgenoom in kaart is gebracht, kan het werk eigenlijk pas goed beginnen. ‘We kunnen doelgerichter zoeken naar genen die betrokken zijn bij resistenties en kwaliteit.’ En naar waarom de aardappel knollen vormt en zijn zusje de tomaat niet.
    Een kaart van het gigantische leliegenoom en de genetische hutspot van prei
    Arens, P. ; Scholten, O.E. - \ 2012
    Kennis Online 9 (2012)april. - p. 10 - 11.
    moleculaire genetica - dna-sequencing - genomen - lilium - allium porrum - chromosoomkaarten - molecular genetics - dna sequencing - genomes - lilium - allium porrum - chromosome maps
    Van allerlei organismen is de complete DNA-volgorde bekend. Lelieveredelaars moeten het echter nog doen met een kaart van niks. Dat komt door de onwaarschijnlijke omvang van het genoom van de bloem. Een lelie heeft tien keer meer DNA dan een mens. Niet alleen de lelie, ook prei laat zich lastig in kaart brengen. Dat komt niet alleen door de omvang van het DNA, maar vooral door de organisatie ervan. Waar mensen en veel planten van elk chromosoom twee kopieën hebben, heeft prei er vier.
    Evolution of rhizobium symbiosis
    Camp, R.H.M. Op den - \ 2012
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ton Bisseling, co-promotor(en): Rene Geurts. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461731982 - 136
    papilionoideae - rhizobium - symbiose - genomen - parasponia - mycorrhizae - evolutie - moleculaire biologie - papilionoideae - rhizobium - symbiosis - genomes - parasponia - mycorrhizas - evolution - molecular biology

    The evolution of rhizobium symbiosis is studied from several points of view in this thesis. The ultimate goal of the combined approaches is to unravel the genetic constrains of the symbiotic interaction. To this end the legume rhizobium symbiosis is studied in model plant species from the Papilionoideae subfamily such as Medicago truncatula and Lotus japonicus. In these model plants the genetic signaling cascade used for rhizobium symbiosis has been largely unraveled. The cascade is triggered by lipo-chitooligosaccharade-based signal molecules excreted by rhizobia, called Nod factors.

    In chapter 2 we make use of a whole genome duplication that has occurred at the root of the legume Papilionoideae subfamily to identify maintained paralogous gene pairs. We hypothesized that a substantial fraction of gene pairs which are maintained in distinct Papilionoideae lineages that split roughly 54 million years ago fulfill legume specific functions, among which is rhizobium symbiosis. Furthermore we argue that such approach could identify novel genes as it can also identify genes pairs that are (partially) redundant in function. With applying this approach specifically to the cytokinin phosphorelay pathway we identified a pair of type-A cytokinin Response Regulators that are involved in rhizobium symbiosis. This study provides a proof-of-principle for this strategy.

    It is known for over fifty years that cytokinin plays an important role in the symbiotic interaction between rhizobia and legume hosts. External application of cytokinin can even result in nodule formation. Only, never had cytokinin levels been quantified in legume root extracts upon symbiotic interaction. In chapter 3 we describe a method for extraction of both cytokinins and auxin from Medicago truncatula roots. We show that cytokinins accumulate in the root zone susceptible to symbiotic interaction upon Nod factor exposure and that this response is dependent on CCaMK; a key gene of the Nod factor signaling cascade. Furthermore, it was found that ethylene signaling has a negative effect on Nod factor induced cytokinin accumulation. The method set up to measure cytokinin as well as auxin provides a tool to further study hormone interactions in rhizobium symbiosis.

    Parasponia,the only non-legume that can engage the rhizobium symbiosis is also subject of study in this thesis. The genetics of the Parasponia-rhizobium symbiosis had not been studied before. It was therefore unknown whether this independently evolved rhizobium symbiosis makes use of the same symbiotic signaling cascade as legumes. In chapter 4 we provide first evidence that Parasponia indeed makes use of the same signaling cascade as found in legumes. Furthermore, we show that in Parasponia a single Nod factor-like receptor is indispensable for two symbiotic interactions; rhizobium and mycorrhiza, respectively. Therefore we conclude that the rhizobium Nod factor perception mechanism is recruited from the widespread endomycorrhizal symbiosis.

    Parallel to our studies in Parasponia (Chapter 4), the research team of Jean Dénarié of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) published the structure of the signal molecule of the arbuscular endomycorrhizae; theMyc factor (Maillet et al., 2011, Fungal lipochitooligosaccharide symbiotic signals in arbuscular mycorrhiza. Nature, 469, 58-63). It appeared that Myc factors and Nod factors are structurally very similar. In chapter 5 we discuss these findings and present a more thorough phylogenetic analysis of the NFP-like LysM-type receptor kinases. Together, these results suggest that non-legumes that can engage an arbuscular endomycorrhizaesymbiosis can recognize Nod factor-like molecules as well.

    The last chapter is about a study on the promiscuity and effectiveness of the Parasponia-rhizobium symbiosis. Parasponia uses a single receptor to control entry of rhizobium as well as arbuscular endomycorrhizal fungi and has evolved the rhizobium symbiosis only recently. This made us to hypothesize that Parasponia Nod factor receptors did not coevolve yet with rhizobia and therefore did not diverge from mycorrhizal recognition to develop specificity for the Nod factor. This implies that Parasponia could be a very promiscuous host for rhizobium species. In chapter 6 we describe that Parasponia andersonii can be nodulated by a broad range of rhizobia belonging to 4 different genera, and therefore it is concluded that Parasponia is highly promiscuous for rhizobial engagement. There is a drawback to this high symbiotic promiscuity. Among the strains identified to nodulate Parasponia, a very inefficient rhizobium species, Rhizobium tropici WUR1, was characterized. As this species is able to make effective nodules on two different legume species it suggests that the ineffectiveness of Parasponia andersonii nodules is the result of the incompatibility between both partners. In Parasponia andersonii nodules rhizobia of the ineffective strain become embedded in a dense matrix, but remain vital. This suggests that sanctions or genetic control against underperforming microsymbionts may not be effective in Parasponia. Therefore we argue that the Parasponia-Rhizobium symbiosis is a delicate balance between mutual benefits and parasitic colonization.

    Parasponiahas been given little attention in the rhizobium symbiosis field over the past two decades but with our efforts renewed interest has been established. We believe that in the end, the comparison of Parasponia to its closest related non-symbiotic sister species Trema, will result in the determination of the genetic constrains of rhizobium symbiosis.

    Genome bioinformatics of tomato and potato
    Datema, E. - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): W. Stiekema, co-promotor(en): Roeland van Ham. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461730473 - 139
    gewassen - solanum lycopersicum - solanum tuberosum - genomica - bio-informatica - nucleotidenvolgordes - genomen - genen - crops - solanum lycopersicum - solanum tuberosum - genomics - bioinformatics - nucleotide sequences - genomes - genes

    In the past two decades genome sequencing has developed from a laborious and costly technology employed by large international consortia to a widely used, automated and affordable tool used worldwide by many individual research groups. Genome sequences of many food animals and crop plants have been deciphered and are being exploited for fundamental research and applied to improve their breeding programs. The developments in sequencing technologies have also impacted the associated bioinformatics strategies and tools, both those that are required for data processing, management, and quality control, and those used for interpretation of the data.

    This thesis focuses on the application of genome sequencing, assembly and annotation to two members of the Solanaceae family, tomato and potato. Potato is the economically most important species within the Solanaceae, and its tubers contribute to dietary intake of starch, protein, antioxidants, and vitamins. Tomato fruits are the second most consumed vegetable after potato, and are a globally important dietary source of lycopene, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and fiber. The chapters in this thesis document the generation, exploitation and interpretation of genomic sequence resources for these two species and shed light on the contents, structure and evolution of their genomes.

    Chapter 1introduces the concepts of genome sequencing, assembly and annotation, and explains the novel genome sequencing technologies that have been developed in the past decade. These so-called Next Generation Sequencing platforms display considerable variation in chemistry and workflow, and as a consequence the throughput and data quality differs by orders of magnitude between the platforms. The currently available sequencing platforms produce a vast variety of read lengths and facilitate the generation of paired sequences with an approximately fixed distance between them. The choice of sequencing chemistry and platform combined with the type of sequencing template demands specifically adapted bioinformatics for data processing and interpretation. Irrespective of the sequencing and assembly strategy that is chosen, the resulting genome sequence, often represented by a collection of long linear strings of nucleotides, is of limited interest by itself. Interpretation of the genome can only be achieved through sequence annotation – that is, identification and classification of all functional elements in a genome sequence. Once these elements have been annotated, sequence alignments between multiple genomes of related accessions or species can be utilized to reveal the genetic variation on both the nucleotide and the structural level that underlies the difference between these species or accessions.

    Chapter 2describes BlastIf, a novel software tool that exploits sequence similarity searches with BLAST to provide a straightforward annotation of long nucleotide sequences. Generally, two problems are associated with the alignment of a long nucleotide sequence to a database of short gene or protein sequences: (i) the large number of similar hits that can be generated due to database redundancy; and (ii) the relationships implied between aligned segments within a hit that in fact correspond to distinct elements on the sequence such as genes. BlastIf generates a comprehensible BLAST output for long nucleotide sequences by reducing the number of similar hits while revealing most of the variation present between hits. It is a valuable tool for molecular biologists who wish to get a quick overview of the genetic elements present in a newly sequenced segment of DNA, prior to more elaborate efforts of gene structure prediction and annotation.

    In Chapter 3 a first genome-wide comparison between the emerging genomic sequence resources of tomato and potato is presented. Large collections of BAC end sequences from both species were annotated through repeat searches, transcript alignments and protein domain identification. In-depth comparisons of the annotated sequences revealed remarkable differences in both gene and repeat content between these closely related genomes. The tomato genome was found to be more repetitive than the potato genome, and substantial differences in the distribution of Gypsy and Copia retrotransposable elements as well as microsatellites were observed between the two genomes. A higher gene content was identified in the potato sequences, and in particular several large gene families including cytochrome P450 mono-oxygenases and serine-threonine protein kinases were significantly overrepresented in potato compared to tomato. Moreover, the cytochrome P450 gene family was found to be expanded in both tomato and potato when compared to Arabidopsis thaliana, suggesting an expanded network of secondary metabolic pathways in the Solanaceae. Together these findings present a first glimpse into the evolution of Solanaceous genomes, both within the family and relative to other plant species.

    Chapter 4explores the physical and genetic organization of tomato chromosome 6 through integration of BAC sequence analysis, High Information Content Fingerprinting, genetic analysis, and BAC-FISH mapping data. A collection of BACs spanning substantial parts of the short and long arm euchromatin and several dispersed regions of the pericentrometric heterochromatin were sequenced and assembled into several tiling paths spanning approximately 11 Mb. Overall, the cytogenetic order of BACs was in agreement with the order of BACs anchored to the Tomato EXPEN 2000 genetic map, although a few striking discrepancies were observed. The integration of BAC-FISH, sequence and genetic mapping data furthermore provided a clear picture of the borders between eu- and heterochromatin on chromosome 6. Annotation of the BAC sequences revealed that, although the majority of protein-coding genes were located in the euchromatin, the highly repetitive pericentromeric heterochromatin displayed an unexpectedly high gene content. Moreover, the short arm euchromatin was relatively rich in repeats, but the ratio of Gypsy and Copia retrotransposons across the different domains of the chromosome clearly distinguished euchromatin from heterochromatin. The ongoing whole-genome sequencing effort will reveal if these properties are unique for tomato chromosome 6, or a more general property of the tomato genome.

    Chapter 5presents the potato genome, the first genome sequence of an Asterid. To overcome the problems associated with genome assembly due tothe high level of heterozygosity that is observed in commercial tetraploid potato varieties, a homozygous doubled-monoploid potato clone was exploited to sequence and assemble 86% of the 844 Mb genome. This potato reference genome sequence was complemented with re-sequencing of aheterozygous diploid clone, revealing the form and extent of sequence polymorphism both between different genotypes and within a single heterozygous genotype. Gene presence/absence variants and other potentially deleterious mutations were found to occur frequently in potato and are a likely cause of inbreeding depression. Annotation of the genome was supported by deep transcriptome sequencing of both the doubled-monoploid and the heterozygous potato, resulting in the prediction of more than 39,000 protein coding genes. Transcriptome analysis provided evidence for the contribution of gene family expansion, tissue specific expression, and recruitment of genes to new pathways to the evolution of tuber development. The sequence of the potato genome has provided new insights into Eudicot genome evolution and has provided a solid basis for the elucidation of the evolution of tuberisation. Many traits of interest to plant breeders are quantitative in nature and the potato sequence will simplify both their characterization and deployment to generate novel cultivars.

    The outstanding challenges in plant genome sequencing are addressed in Chapter 6. The high concentration of repetitive elements and the heterozygosity and polyploidy of many interesting crop plant species currently pose a barrier for the efficient reconstruction of their genome sequences. Nonetheless, the completion of a large number of new genome sequences in recent years and the ongoing advances in sequencing technology provide many excitingopportunities for plant breeding and genome research. Current sequencing platforms are being continuously updated and improved, and novel technologies are being developed and implemented in third-generation sequencing platforms that sequence individual molecules without need for amplification. While these technologies create exciting opportunities for new sequencing applications, they also require robust software tools to process the data produced through them efficiently. The ever increasing amount of available genome sequences creates the need for an intuitive platform for the automated and reproducible interrogation of these data in order to formulate new biologically relevant questions on datasets spanning hundreds or thousands of genome sequences.

    Genome structure and pathogenicity of the fungal wheat pathogen Mycosphaerella graminicola
    M'Barek, S. Ben - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Pierre de Wit, co-promotor(en): Gert Kema. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859970 - 229
    triticum aestivum - triticum turgidum - tarwe - mycosphaerella graminicola - plantenziekteverwekkende schimmels - genoomstructuur - eiwitexpressieanalyse - pathogeniteit - pathogenesis-gerelateerde eiwitten - genomen - plasticiteit - plant-microbe interacties - triticum aestivum - triticum turgidum - wheat - mycosphaerella graminicola - plant pathogenic fungi - genomic structure - proteomics - pathogenicity - pathogenesis-related proteins - genomes - plasticity - plant-microbe interactions

    The phytopathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella graminicola (Fuckel) J. Schröt. in Cohn (asexual stage: Zymoseptoria tritici (Desm.) Quaedvlieg & Crous) causes septoria tritici leaf blotch (STB) in wheat and is one of the most important diseases of this crop worldwide. However, STB control, mainly based on the use of resistant cultivars and fungicides, is significantly hampered by the limited understanding of the genetic and biochemical bases of pathogenicity, and mechanisms of infection and resistance in the host. M. graminicola has a very active sexual cycle under field conditions, which is an important driver of STB epidemics. Moreover, it results in high genetic diversity of field populations that causes a major challenge for the development and sustainable management of resistant cultivars and the discovery of new antifungal compounds. Understanding the role of the sexual and asexual life cycles on genome composition of this versatile pathogen and its infection strategy is crucial in order to develop novel control methods.

    Chapter 1 is an introduction to the biology and pathogenicity of M. graminicola. In addition, it shortly describes the impact of improved and novel technologies on the speed, scope and scale of comparative genomics research.

    Chapter 2 provides detailed genetic analyses of two M. graminicola mapping populations, using mainly DArT markers, and the analysis of the meiotic transmission of unequal chromosome numbers. Polymorphisms in chromosome length and number were frequently observed in progeny isolates, of which 15–20% lacked one or more chromosomes despite their presence in one or both parents, but these had no apparent effect on sexual and pathogenic fitness. M. graminicola has up to eight so called dispensable chromosomes that can be easily lost - collectively called the dispensome - which is, so far, the highest number of dispensable chromosomes reported in filamentous fungi. They represent small-sized chromosomes and make up 38% of the chromosome complement of this pathogen. Much of the observed genome plasticity is generated during meiosis and could explain the high adaptability of M. graminicola in the field. The generated linkage map was crucial for finishing the M. graminicola genome sequence.

    Chapter 3 describes the M. graminicola genome sequence with highlights on genome structure and organization including the eight dispensable chromosomes. The genome comprises a core set of 13 chromosomes and a dispensome, consisting of eight chromosomes that are distinct from the core chromosomes in structure, gene and repeat content. The dispensome contains a higher frequency of transposons and the genes have a different codon use. Most of the genes present one the dispensome are also present on the core chromosomes but little synteny is observed neither between the M. graminicola dispensome and the core chromosomes nor with the chromosomes of other related Dothideomycetes. The dispensome likely originates from ancient horizontal transfer(s) from (an) unknown donor(s).

    Chapter 4 shows a global analysis of proteins secreted by M. graminicola in apoplastic fluids during infection. It focuses mainly on fungal proteins secreted in a compatible interaction. The study showed that many of the annotated secreted proteins have putative functions in fungal pathogenicity, such as cell wall degrading enzymes and proteases, but the function of a substantial number of the identified proteins is unknown. During compatible interactions proteins are primarily secreted during the later stages. However, many pathogenesis-related host proteins, such as PR-2, PR-3 and PR-9, accumulated earlier and at higher concentrations during incompatible interactions, indicating that fungal effectors are recognized by resistant plants and trigger resistant gene-mediated defence responses, though without a visible hypersensitive response.

    Chapter 5 further details the initial identification and characterization of necrosis-inducing proteins that are produced in culture filtrates (CFs) of M. graminicola. The necrosis-inducing activity of CFs is light dependent and inactivated by proteinase K and heat treatment (100C). This is reminiscent of the necrosis-inducing properties of host selective toxins of other Dothideomycete pathogens such as Stagonospora nodorum and Pyrenophora tritici-repentis. Subsequent purifications of CFs and mass spectrometry identified several candidate proteins with necrosis-inducing activity. Heterologous expression of the two most prominent proteins in Pichia pastoris produced sufficient quantities for infiltration assays in a panel of wheat cultivars that showed differential responses, suggesting specific recognition.

    Chapter 6 provides a general discussion of the thesis and puts the results obtained in a broader perspective with a focus on the genome structure of M. graminicola and its function. In addition, aspects of the hemi-biotrophic lifestyle, the relevance of secreted proteins for the wheat-M. graminicola pathosystem in relation to gene-for-gene models and the potential implications for resistance breeding strategies are discussed.

    Genome transcription/translation of segmented, negative-strand RNA viruses
    Geerts-Dimitriadou, C. - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Just Vlak, co-promotor(en): Richard Kormelink. - [s.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859314 - 151
    rna-virussen - tomatenbronsvlekkenvirus - genomen - transcriptie - translatie - luzernemozaïekvirus - nucleotidenvolgordes - genexpressie - genexpressieanalyse - rna viruses - tomato spotted wilt virus - genomes - transcription - translation - alfalfa mosaic virus - nucleotide sequences - gene expression - genomics

    The requirements for alignment of capped RNA leader sequences along the viral genome during influenza transcription initiation (“cap-snatching”) have long been an enigma. Previous work on Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) transcription initiation has revealed that this virus displays a preference for leaders with increasing base complementarity to the 3'-ultimate residues of the viral RNA template. Assuming that cap-snatching is a highly conserved mechanism, it is tempting to speculate that the findings for TSWV apply to all segmented negative RNA viruses. The research in this thesis aimed to analyze whether similar cap donor requirements applied for Influenza A virus transcription initiation as compared to what has been found for TSWV. Indeed, in vitro studies demonstrated that influenza transcriptase prefers multiple base-pairing capped leaders. Additionally, the occurrence of “prime-and-realign” during influenza transcription initiation was observed, as well as internal priming at the 3'-penultimate viral residue. The in vitro findings were confirmed by similar studies performed during influenza infection of cell cultures. Whereas transcription initiation of TSWV has been relatively well studied, transcription termination has not. It is postulated that transcription termination/translation is triggered by the formation of a hairpin structure. In cell experiments support a role of the TSWV hairpin structure in translation.

    Genetic variation in the chicken genome: insights in selection
    Elferink, M.G. - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martien Groenen, co-promotor(en): Richard Crooijmans. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859208 - 162
    pluimvee - dierveredeling - genomen - populatiegenetica - genen - rassen (dieren) - genetische kartering - genetische variatie - selectie - poultry - animal breeding - genomes - population genetics - genes - breeds - genetic mapping - genetic variation - selection

    The chicken currently provides more than a quarter of the meat and nearly all eggs produced worldwide. For future improvements in production traits and animal welfare as well as to address future consumer demands it is necessary to understand the etiology and biology underlying production traits and diseases. The primary aim of the research described in this thesis was to investigate the utility of several molecular approaches to identify causative variants underlying a variety of traits in the chicken.
    The general introduction in chapter 1 provides an overview of the domestication history of the chicken - with a particular focus on commercial chicken breeds - and describes the importance to identify causative variants underlying production traits and diseases. Furthermore, several different molecular techniques and methods are introduced that are being used to detect causative variants underlying monogenic and polygenic traits.
    Linkage maps are essential for linkage analysis, important to study recombination rates and recombination hotspots within the genome and can assist in the sequence assembly of genomes. In chapter 2 we describe the construction of a new high-resolution linkage map of the chicken genome based on two chicken populations with a total of 1619 individuals. The two populations used are a purebred broiler line and a broiler x broiler cross. This high resolution allowed accurate identification of recombination hotspots in the chicken genome, including sex specific recombination. Furthermore, to improve the current reference genome (WASHUC2), 613 unmapped markers were included in the genome-wide assay that included a total of 17,790 SNPs. The resulting linkage map comprises 13,340 SNPs, of which 360 had not been assigned to a known chromosome on chicken genome build WASHUC2. The resulting linkage map is composed of 31 linkage groups, with a total length of 3,054 cM for the sex-average map of the combined population. Regional differences in recombination hotspots between the two mapping populations were observed for several chromosomes near the telomere of the p arm. The sex-specific analysis revealed that these regional differences were mainly caused by female-specific recombination hotspots in the broiler × broiler cross.
    In chapter 3 we describe the molecular characterization of the locus causing the late feathering phenotype; a monogenic trait in chicken that results in a delayed emergence of flight feathers at hatch. The late feathering phenotype is beneficial to breeders as it can be used for sex typing at hatch. The locus has, therefore, been extensively used in diverse commercial chicken breeds. However, a retrovirus closely linked to the late feathering allele causes a negative pleiotropic effect on egg production and causes viral infections. Within this chapter we describe the identification of a 180 kb tandem duplication in the late feathering allele using a quantitative PCR approach. The tandem duplication results in the partial duplication of two genes; the prolactin receptor and the gene encoding sperm flagellar protein 2. Sequence analysis revealed that the duplication is identical in broiler, white egg-layer, and brown egg-layer lines. This information was also used to design a molecular test to detect this duplication, particularly in heterozygous individuals.
    The recent advances in massive parallel sequencing technologies have enabled rapid and cost-effective detection of all genetic variants within genomes. The detection of all genetic variants within a genome has further increased our ability to identify causative variants underlying quantitative trait loci (QTL). In chapter 4, we combined a genome-wide association study with whole-genome resequencing to identify causative variants underlying the pulmonary hypertension syndrome (PHS), a polygenic trait in chicken. PHS is a metabolic disease that has been linked to intense selection on growth rate and feed conversion ratio of modern broilers (meat-type chicken). PHS has become one of the most frequent causes of mortality within the broiler industry and leads to substantial economic losses and reduced animal welfare. In total, 18 QTL regions were identified in the genome-wide association study. In order to detect causative variants underlying these QTL regions, we sequenced the genomes of twelve individuals. To maximize the detection of causative variants we selected the individuals based on extreme phenotypes for PHS. Within 8 QTL regions we identified a total of 10 genes that contain at least one variant that is predicted to affect protein function. Moreover, 7.62 million SNPs were detected within the twelve animals compared to the reference genome. These markers can be used in the development of future genome-wide assays.
    Genomic regions that have undergone selection should contain loci that influence important phenotypic traits and will, therefore, include causative variant(s) that could aid in further future improvement of production traits and disease resistance. In chapter 5, we applied hitch-hiking mapping to make a broad assessment of the effects of selection histories in domesticated chicken. Towards this end, we sampled commercial chickens representing all major breeding goals from multiple breeding companies. In addition, we sampled non-commercial chicken diversity by sampling almost all recognized traditional Dutch breeds and a representative sample of breeds from China. The broad sample of 67 commercial and non-commercial breeds were assessed for signatures of selection in the genome using information of 57,636 SNPs that were genotyped on pooled DNA samples. Our approach demonstrates the strength of including many different populations with similar, and breed groups with different selection histories to reduce stochastic effects based on single populations. The detection of regions of putative selection resulted in the identification of several candidate genes that could aid in further improvement of production traits and disease resistance.
    Finally, the general discussion in chapter 6 describes the main findings of this thesis. In this chapter recommendations are given for the best strategies to detect causative variants underlying monogenic or polygenic traits. All strategies can benefit substantially from the recent developments in massive parallel sequencing, although the high costs of this method currently prevent large scale studies. In order to perform powerful and cost-effective studies, several strategies are discussed that combine massive parallel sequencing with other existing methods and techniques. Furthermore, the limitations of the different strategies are addressed, as well as the improvements needed in the near future to identify causative variants underlying a variety of traits in, but not limited to, the chicken.



    Efficiënte koe stoot minder methaan uit : fokken op voerefficiëntie in mogelijk
    Haas, Y. de; Haan, M.H.A. de - \ 2011
    V-focus 8 (2011)2. - ISSN 1574-1575 - p. 22 - 23.
    melkveehouderij - rundveevoeding - efficiëntie - dierveredeling - genomen - selectie - fokkerijmethoden - dairy farming - cattle feeding - efficiency - animal breeding - genomes - selection - animal breeding methods
    Fokken op een hoge voerefficiëntie zal de voerkosten drukken en het milieu sparen. Dat er nog geen fokprogramma is om op voerefficiëntie van melkkoeien te fokken, komt doordat de dataverzameling van voeropname erg lastig en kostbaar is. Met genomic selection lijken er nieuwe mogelijkheden te komen.
    The role of non-specific interactions in nuclear organization
    Nooijer, S. de - \ 2010
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ton Bisseling; Bela Mulder, co-promotor(en): Joan Wellink. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085857921 - 117
    arabidopsis - celkernen - chromosomen - genomen - chromatine - interacties - cytogenetica - moleculaire biologie - arabidopsis - nuclei - chromosomes - genomes - chromatin - interactions - cytogenetics - molecular biology
    The most important organelle in eukaryotic cells is the nucleus. Many processes occurring within the nucleus depend on spatial organization of the nucleus. The spatial organization of the eukaryotic nucleus derives from interactions between its constituents. Both specific interactions, for instance the interactions between a DNA binding protein and its target DNA sequence, and non-specific interactions occur. Non-specific interactions stem from physical encounters between molecules or particles, which can favour particular organizations, i.e. the ones that have the lowest entropy. The role of non-specific interactions in nuclear organization is so far not extensively studied. Here, we investigate the effects of non-specific interactions on nuclear organization, using molecular dynamics simulation techniques. Chromatin folding models can be implemented in these simulations as chains of monomers, which can form loops, branches or networks. Through a comparison of simulation results with experimental data, these models can be verified or falsified.

    We used MD simulations of models for Arabidopsis chromatin organisation to show that non-specific interactions can explain the in vivo localisation of nucleoli and chromocenters. Also, we quantitatively demonstrate that chromatin looping contributes to the formation of chromosome territories. Focussing on the forces driving nuclear organization in the rosette model, we derive effective interaction potentials for rosette-loop interactions. These potentials are weak, but nevertheless drive chromocenters and nucleoli to the nuclear periphery and away from each other.

    We also study the folding of a single human chromosome within its territory. The results of our simulations are analysed using a virtual confocal microscope algorithm which has the same limitations as a real confocal microscope. Thus we show that chromatin looping increases the volume occupied by a 10Mbp chromosomal sub-domain, but decreases the overlap between two neighbouring sub-domains. Our results furthermore show that the measured amount of overlap is highly dependent on both spatial resolution and signal detection threshold of the confocal microscope, and that in typical fluorescence in situ hybridisation experiments these two factors contribute to a gross underestimation of the real overlap. Zooming out to whole nucleus organization, we show that an interplay between interactions between heterochromatin and nuclear lamina generates a wide variety of nuclear organizations, with those occurring in nature requiring a fine balance between both interactions.

    The differences between chromosome folding in human and Arabidopsis can be explained through differences in genomic structure and chromosome loop formation, but the underlying mechanisms and forces that organize the nucleus are very similar. The insight how specific and non-specific forces cooperate to shape nuclear organization, is therefore the most important contribution of this thesis to scientific progress.

    Bioinformatics' approaches to detect genetic variation in whole genome sequencing data
    Kerstens, H.H.D. - \ 2010
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martien Groenen; Mari Smits. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085857808 - 182
    bio-informatica - genomen - nucleotidenvolgordes - genetische variatie - varkens - kalkoenen - kippen - anas platyrhynchos - dierveredeling - genexpressieanalyse - single nucleotide polymorphism - marker assisted breeding - bioinformatics - genomes - nucleotide sequences - genetic variation - pigs - turkeys - fowls - anas platyrhynchos - animal breeding - genomics - single nucleotide polymorphism - marker assisted breeding
    Current genetic marker repositories are not sufficient or even are completely lacking for most farm animals. However, genetic markers are essential for the development of a research tool facilitating discovery of genetic factors that contribute to resistance to disease and the overall welfare and performance in farm animals.
    By large scale identification of Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) and Structural Variants (SVs) we aimed to contribute to the development of a repository of genetic variants for farm animals. For this purpose bioinformatics data pipelines were designed and validated to address the challenge of the cost effective identification of genetic markers in DNA sequencing data even in absence of a fully sequenced reference genome.
    To find SNPs in pig, we analysed publicly available whole genome shotgun sequencing datasets by sequence alignment and clustering. Sequence clusters were assigned to genomic locations using publicly available BAC sequencing and BAC mapping data. Within the sequence clusters thousands of SNPs were detected of which the genomic location is roughly known.
    For turkey and duck, species that both were lacking a sufficient sequence data repository for variant discovery, we applied next-generation sequencing (NGS) on a reduced genome representation of a pooled DNA sample. For turkey a genome reference was reconstructed from our sequencing data and available public sequencing data whereas in duck the reference genome constructed by a (NGS) project was used. SNPs obtained by our cost-effective SNP detection procedure still turned out to cover, at intervals, the whole turkey and duck genomes and are of sufficient quality to be used in genotyping studies. Allele frequencies, obtained by genotyping animal panels with a subset our SNPs, correlated well with those observed during SNP detection. The availability of two external duck SNP datasets allowed for the construction of a subset of SNPs which we had in common with these sets. Genotyping turned out that this subset was of outstanding quality and can be used for benchmarking other SNPs that we identified within duck.
    Ongoing developments in (NGS) allowed for paired end sequencing which is an extension on sequencing analysis that provides information about which pair of reads are coming from the outer ends of one sequenced DNA fragment. We applied this technique on a reduced genome representation of four chicken breeds to detect SVs. Paired end reads were mapped to the chicken reference genome and SVs were identified as abnormally aligned read pairs that have orientation or span sizes discordant from the reference genome. SV detection parameters, to distinguish true structural variants from false positives, were designed and optimized by validation of a small representative sample of SVs using PCR and traditional capillary sequencing.
    To conclude: we developed SNP repositories which fulfils a requirement for SNPs to perform linkage analysis, comparative genomics QTL studies and ultimately GWA studies in a range of farm animals. We also set the first step in developing a repository for SVs in chicken, a relatively new genetic marker in animal sciences.
    The interplay between a Phytophthora RXLR effector and an Arabidopsis lectin receptor kinase
    Bouwmeester, K. - \ 2010
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Francine Govers; Pierre de Wit. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856474 - 223
    phytophthora infestans - arabidopsis - solanum tuberosum - genen - genomen - virulentie - kinasen - lectinen - receptoren - genexpressie - plant-microbe interacties - phytophthora infestans - arabidopsis - solanum tuberosum - genes - genomes - virulence - kinases - lectins - receptors - gene expression - plant-microbe interactions
    Phytophthora infestans – the causal agent of potato late blight – secretes a plethora of effector proteins to facilitate plant infection. The central subject of this thesis is ipiO, one of the first cloned Phytophthora genes with a putative function in pathogenicity as was anticipated based on its in planta induced (ipi) expression, in particular during early stages of host infection. IPI-O contains two striking motifs: RXLR-dEER and RGD. RGD is a cell adhesion motif and was shown to be involved in binding to the extracellular lectin domain of LecRK-I.9, a lectin receptor kinase of Arabidopsis. The RXLR-dEER motif plays a role in effector trafficking into host cells and is shared by several secreted oomycete effector proteins which are known to function as race-specific avirulence (Avr) factors. In a previous study, that was aimed at identifying novel pairs of P. infestans Avr and host plant resistance (R) genes, a high-throughput effector genomics screen identified ipiO as Avr-blb1, the counterpart of the late blight R gene Rpi-blb1 which originates from the nightshade Solanum bulbocastanum. Often R genes exploited in late blight resistance breeding become rapidly ineffective as a result of adaptation of P. infestans. However, unlike most late blight R genes that interact in a gene-for-gene manner with Avr genes, Rpi-blb1 seemed to have the potential to remain its effectiveness. In section 2 we monitored the genetic variation and distribution of the ipiO family in an extensive isolate collection of P. infestans and closely related species. This resulted in the identification of 16 IPI-O variants that could be sub-divided in three distinct classes. Variants from class I and class II were shown to induce cell death when co-infiltrated with Rpi-blb1 in Nicotiana benthamiana. Class III consists solely of the highly divergent variant IPI-O4, that is not able to trigger Rpi-blb1-mediated cell death. Class I is highly diverse and represented in all P. infestans isolates analyzed so far, except in two Mexican P. infestans isolates. The latter two are capable to infect Rpi-blb1 plants, suggesting that the lack of class I variants in the genome of these strains allows them to escape recognition by Rpi-blb1 plants. We propose that profiling of the ipiO variants within P. infestans populations can predict the effectiveness of Rpi-blb1-mediated resistance in potato and, as such, can facilitate integrated disease management.
    Section 3 of this thesis deals with legume-like lectin receptor kinases (LecRKs), membrane-spanning proteins with potential roles in adaptive responses and cell wall integrity. We present an inventory and a phylogenetic analysis of the Arabidopsis LecRK gene family. The rationale behind this study was to gain better insight into the diversity of LecRKs and their potential roles in plant defense. A comprehensive expression analysis based on exploration of existing databases revealed that several LecRK genes are induced upon treatment with elicitors or during pathogen infection. Based on the phylogenetic analysis we have reclassified the LecRK genes and proposed a new nomenclature.
    LecRK-I.9, one of the clade I Arabidopsis LecRKs which binds the RGD cell adhesion motif of IPI-O, was shown to mediate adhesion between the cell wall (CW) and plasma membrane (PM). In contrast, IPI-O disrupts these adhesions by virtue of its RGD motif. We analyzed Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9 knock-out lines (lecrk-I.9) for their response to pathogen infection, in particular to Phytophthora brassicae. We also analyzed transgenic Arabidopsis lines expressing ipiO, and observed that both the ipiO-expressing lines and lecrk-I.9 lines are impaired in their resistance to oomycete pathogens. To unravel the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon we analysed callose deposition upon MAMP (i.e. flg22) treatment and investigated the strength of CW-PM adhesions under plasmolysis-inducing conditions. The results indicated that LecRK-I.9 is not only important for the maintenance of the CW-PM continuum, but also in MAMP-triggered immunity. Also here, both the ipiO-expressing lines and the lecrk-I.9 knock-outs displayed a destabilized CW-PM continuum and impaired callose deposition, and hence, they can be regarded as phenocopies. Arabidopsis plants that constitutively express LecRK-I.9 were smaller in size, and displayed increased levels of anthocyanin and lignin. Additionally, these lines were shown to exhibit enhanced resistance to P. brassicae. Furthermore, we studied transgenic potatoes that constitutively Arabidopsis LecRK-I.9. In comparison to the parental control potato line the transgenic lines were less susceptible to mild and moderately aggressive P. infestans isolates, but the increased tolerance was not sufficient to provide resistance to aggressive isolates. These results strongly suggest that LecRK-I.9 is a novel resistance component that plays a role in defense against Phytophthora.
    In Section 4 we describe a novel method for propagating P. brassicae zoospores on an intermediate host plant. This resulted in the production of high numbers of zoospores thereby facilitating highly reproducible small and large scale inoculation experiments.
    This thesis is completed with a general discussion (Section 5) addressing the current understanding of effector uptake by host cells, the subsequent recognition by cognate R proteins mediating effector-triggered immunity, and RXLR-dEER effector diversity. We also discuss the role of the RGD motif in effectors of both animal and plant pathogens, and the potential functions of LecRKs. Finally, we high-light the advantages of Arabidopsis-Phytophthora pathosystems as research object.
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