Research Article

Exploring laccase genes from plant pathogen genomes: a bioinformatic approach

Published: October 30, 2015
Genet. Mol. Res. 14 (4) : 14019-14036 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.October.29.21
Cite this Article:
(2015). Exploring laccase genes from plant pathogen genomes: a bioinformatic approach. Genet. Mol. Res. 14(4): gmr6587. https://doi.org/10.4238/2015.October.29.21
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Abstract

To date, research on laccases has mostly been focused on plant and fungal laccases and their current use in biotechnological applications. In contrast, little is known about laccases from plant pathogens, although recent rapid progress in whole genome sequencing of an increasing number of organisms has facilitated their identification and ascertainment of their origins. In this study, a comparative analysis was performed to elucidate the distribution of laccases among bacteria, fungi, and oomycetes, and, through comparison of their amino acids, to determine the relationships between them. We retrieved the laccase genes for the 20 publicly available plant pathogen genomes. From these, 125 laccase genes were identified in total, including seven in bacterial genomes, 101 in fungal genomes, and 17 in oomycete genomes. Most of the predicted protein models of these genes shared typical fungal laccase characteristics, possessing four conserved domains with one cysteine and ten histidine residues at these domains. Phylogenetic analysis illustrated that laccases from bacteria and oomycetes were grouped into two distinct clades, whereas fungal laccases clustered in three main clades. These results provide the theoretical groundwork regarding the role of laccases in plant pathogens and might be used to guide future research into these enzymes.

To date, research on laccases has mostly been focused on plant and fungal laccases and their current use in biotechnological applications. In contrast, little is known about laccases from plant pathogens, although recent rapid progress in whole genome sequencing of an increasing number of organisms has facilitated their identification and ascertainment of their origins. In this study, a comparative analysis was performed to elucidate the distribution of laccases among bacteria, fungi, and oomycetes, and, through comparison of their amino acids, to determine the relationships between them. We retrieved the laccase genes for the 20 publicly available plant pathogen genomes. From these, 125 laccase genes were identified in total, including seven in bacterial genomes, 101 in fungal genomes, and 17 in oomycete genomes. Most of the predicted protein models of these genes shared typical fungal laccase characteristics, possessing four conserved domains with one cysteine and ten histidine residues at these domains. Phylogenetic analysis illustrated that laccases from bacteria and oomycetes were grouped into two distinct clades, whereas fungal laccases clustered in three main clades. These results provide the theoretical groundwork regarding the role of laccases in plant pathogens and might be used to guide future research into these enzymes.

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