A comparative genomic analysis of ESTs from Ustilago maydis
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A large-scale comparative genomic analysis of unisequence sets obtained from an Ustilago maydis EST collection was performed against publicly available EST and genomic sequence datasets from 21 species. We annotated 70% of the collection based on similarity to known sequences and recognized protein signatures. Distinct grouping of the ESTs, defined by the presence or absence of similar sequences in the species examined, allowed the identification of U. maydis sequences present only (1) in fungal species, (2) in plants but not animals, (3) in animals but not plants, or (4) in all three eukaryotic lineages assessed. We also identified 215 U. maydis genes that are found in the ascomycete but not in the basidiomycete genome sequences searched. Candidate genes were identified for further functional characterization. These include 167 basidiomycete-specific sequences, 58 fungal pathogen-specific sequences (including 37 basidiomycete pathogen-specific sequences), and 18 plant pathogen-specific sequences, as well as two sequences present only in other plant pathogen and plant species.