If you work with Zymoseptoria tritici genes, we’re looking for your help. We need people to get involved with community annotation of genes.
All questions that can be asked about the genome of a pathogen hinge on a consistent and accurate gene set. Unlike for key model organisms that may have dedicated teams doing manual gene curation, most microbial gene sets are automatically generated and, in some cases, divergent gene sets get used by different communities. It is crucial for these differences to be reconciled in order to accelerate research in pressing fields such as antimicrobial resistance and sustainable food production.
We are currently supporting the community annotation of the gene set for Zymoseptoria tritici. This fungal pathogen causes septoria leaf blotch in wheat, and can reduce yields of this vital crop by 30-50%. This has a huge economic impact and poses a significant threat to food security. The huge genetic variation between strains and unusual pathogen biology make Zymoseptoria tritici difficult to combat, problems that could be tackled by learning more about this fungus’ genome.
Ensembl Fungi have successfully facilitated community annotation for phytopathogens such as Botrytis cinerea and Blumeria graminis involving numerous researchers spread across multiple institutions. This was done through the use of an online gene editing tool called Apollo, online training workshops and, ultimately, the checking and publishing of the new de facto gene set through the Ensembl portals.
If you would like to get involved or find out more, please get in touch with either Ensembl Fungi or Marc-Henri Lebrun from the National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) in France. We will provide full training in the use of the relevant software, all we need from you is your Zymoseptoria tritici genetics expertise.