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Cristancho M.A.,National Center for Coffee Research | Botero-Rozo D.O.,National Center for Coffee Research | Botero-Rozo D.O.,University of Los Andes, Colombia | Giraldo W.,National Center for Coffee Research | And 11 more authors.
Frontiers in Plant Science | Year: 2014

Coffee leaf rust caused by the fungus Hemileia vastatrix is the most damaging disease to coffee worldwide. The pathogen has recently appeared in multiple outbreaks in coffee producing countries resulting in significant yield losses and increases in costs related to its control. New races/isolates are constantly emerging as evidenced by the presence of the fungus in plants that were previously resistant. Genomic studies are opening new avenues for the study of the evolution of pathogens, the detailed description of plant-pathogen interactions and the development of molecular techniques for the identification of individual isolates. For this purpose we sequenced 8 different H. vastatrix isolates using NGS technologies and gathered partial genome assemblies due to the large repetitive content in the coffee rust hybrid genome; 74.4% of the assembled contigs harbor repetitive sequences. A hybrid assembly of 333 Mb was built based on the 8 isolates; this assembly was used for subsequent analyses. Analysis of the conserved gene space showed that the hybrid H. vastatrix genome, though highly fragmented, had a satisfactory level of completion with 91.94% of core protein-coding orthologous genes present. RNA-Seq from urediniospores was used to guide the de novo annotation of the H. vastatrix gene complement. In total, 14,445 genes organized in 3921 families were uncovered; a considerable proportion of the predicted proteins (73.8%) were homologous to other Pucciniales species genomes. Several gene families related to the fungal lifestyle were identified, particularly 483 predicted secreted proteins that represent candidate effector genes and will provide interesting hints to decipher virulence in the coffee rust fungus. The genome sequence of Hva will serve as a template to understand the molecular mechanisms used by this fungus to attack the coffee plant, to study the diversity of this species and for the development of molecular markers to distinguish races/isolates. © 2014 Cristancho, Botero-Rozo, Giraldo, Tabima, Riaño-Pachón, Escobar, Rozo, Rivera, Durán, Restrepo, Eilam, Anikster and Gaitán.

Garcia L. J.C.,National Center for Coffee Research | Garcia L. J.C.,University of Caldas | Posada-Suarez H.,National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia FNC | Laderach P.,International Center for Tropical Agriculture
PLoS ONE | Year: 2014

The Colombian National Federation of Coffee Growers (FNC) conducted an agroecological zoning study based on climate, soil, and terrain of the Colombian coffeegrowing regions (CCGR) located in the tropics, between 1° and 11.5° N, in areas of complex topography. To support this study, a climate baseline was constructed at a spatial resolution of 5 km. Twenty-one bioclimatic indicators were drawn from this baseline data and from yield data for different coffee genotypes evaluated under conditions at eight experimental stations (ESs) belonging to the National Center for Coffee Research (CENICAFÉ). Three topographic indicators were obtained from a digital elevation model (DEM). Zoning at a national level resulted in the differentiation of 12 agro-climatic zones. Altitude notably influenced zone differentiation, however other factors such as large air currents, low-pressure atmospheric systems, valleys of the great rivers, and physiography also played an important role. The strategy of zoning according to coffee-growing conditions will enable areas with the greatest potential for the development of coffee cultivation to be identified, criteria for future research to be generated, and the level of technology implementation to be assessed. © 2014 García L. et al.

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