Chromosome-scale genome sequence of Alternaria alternata causing Alternaria brown spot of citrus

Alternaria brown spot (ABS) caused by Alternaria alternata is an economically important fungal disease of citrus worldwide. The ABS pathogen A. alternata tangerine pathotype can produce a host-specific ACT toxin, which is regulated by ACT toxin gene cluster located in the conditionally dispensable chromosome (CDC). Previously, we have assembled a draft genome of A. alternata tangerine pathotype strain Z7, which comprises 165 contigs. In this study, we report a chromosome-level genome assembly of A. alternata Z7 through the combination of Oxford nanopore sequencing and Illumina sequencing technologies.

The assembly of A. alternata Z7 had a total size of 34.28 Mb, with a GC content of 51.01% and contig N50 of Mb. The genome is encompassed 12067 protein-coding genes, 34 rRNAs, and 107 tRNAs. Interestingly, A. alternata Z7 is composed of 10 essential chromosomes (ECs) and 2 conditionally dispensable chromosomes (CDCs), which is consistent with the experimental evidences of pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). To our best knowledge, this is the first chromosome-level genome assembly of A. alternata.

In addition, a database for citrus-related Alternaria genomes has been established to provide public resources for the sequences, annotation and comparative genomics data of Alternaria species. The improved genome sequence and annotation at the chromosome level is a significant step toward a better understanding of the pathogenicity of A. alternata. The database will be updated regularly whenever the genomes of newly isolated Alternaria species are available.

The citrus-related Alternaria genomes database is open accessible through

Authors: Yunpeng Gai, Haijie Ma, Yanan Chen, Lei Li, Yingze Cao, Mingshuang Wang, Xuepeng Sun, Chen Jiao, Brendan K. Riely, Hongye Li