Genome Sequencing of Arabidopsis-Associated Fungal Pathogen

Christopher Lawrence lawrence at
Thu Nov 13 09:41:03 EST 2003

Dear Arabidopsis Community,

This message is to request support from those interested, especially PIs in
the form of a letter (electronic preferably).

I am in the process of drafting a grant application entitled - The Genome
Sequence of the Model Necrotrophic Fungus, Alternaria brassicicola.  This
will be submitted to the joint USDA/NSF Microbial Genome Sequencing Program
Dec. 15th, 2003.  The Washington University School of Medicine Genome
Sequencing Center has officially agreed to partner with us on the project.
The proposal is for an 8X draft sequence, assembly and machine annotation of
the sequence, and  the setting up of a community access and  annotation web
site. Since these sequencing grants are viewed as a service to the whole
community, it is very important  that  the community shows its enthusiasm
for the sequencing project  through letters of support.

Therefore  I would much appreciate it if you could send me a letter of
support, ideally by Decmber 10, 2003, but absolutely no later than December
14.  The submission deadline is December 15.

Since proposal submission to NSF will be electronic, please send the your
letter of support electronically if possible, ideally as an attached PDF
file.  If you must send the letter by mail please note that I am now at the
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.  The brief letter could possibly state
for example, that this genome information would be useful to the
plant-microbe/pathology communities etc. on an international scale.

I have listed below a few interesting aspects of A. brassicicola

1) Model fungal pathogen for necrotrophic plant pathogenesis

2) Relatively small genome (approx. 30 Mb)

3) Economically important pathogen of crucifers, especially canola and

4) Implications in human health, Alternaria spp. are associated with onset
    of childhood asthma, fungal allergies and morbidity,subcutaneous/systemic
    infection in immune compromised humans, and  mycotoxin contamination in
    food and food products

5) Arabidopsis is a model host, especially for incompatibility

6)   The NSF is already funding functional genomics research
      related to this pathosystem in my laboratory in collaboration with Dr.
      Tom Mitchell at the Fungal Genomics Laboratory , NC State under the
      direction of Dr. Ralph Dean

7)  The American Phytopathological Society (APS) has recently deemed A.
     brassicicola  as an immediate priority for full genome sequencing

The possibility of obtaining the full genome sequence of  Alternaria
brassicicola  is an extremely exciting opportunity for the whole Alternaria
and plant-microbe interactions community . I look forward to receiving a
letter of support from you if you would be so kind.

With utmost sincerity,

Christopher  B. Lawrence

Associate Professor
Virginia Bioinformatics Institute
1880 Pratt Dr., Bldg. XV (0477)
Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061-0477
Office: (540) 231-1907 / Fax: (540) 231-2606
E-Mail: Lawrence at


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