University of Hertfordshire


  • Alain Decroës
  • Jun-Min Li
  • Lorna Richardson
  • Euphemia Mutasa-Gottgens
  • Gipsi Lima-Mendez
  • Mathieu Mahillon
  • Claude Bragard
  • Robert D. Finn
  • Anne Legrève
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-22
Number of pages14
Early online date16 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


Genomic knowledge of the tree of life is biased to specific groups of organisms. For example, only six full genomes are currently available in the rhizaria clade. Here, we have applied metagenomic techniques enabling the assembly of the genome of Polymyxa betae (Rhizaria, Plasmodiophorida) RES F41 isolate from unpurified zoospore holobiont and comparison with the A26–41 isolate. Furthermore, the first P. betae mitochondrial genome was assembled. The two P. betae nuclear genomes were highly similar, each with just ~10.2 k predicted protein coding genes, ~3% of which were unique to each isolate. Extending genomic comparisons revealed a greater overlap with Spongospora subterranea than with Plasmodiophora brassicae, including orthologs of the mammalian cation channel sperm-associated proteins, raising some intriguing questions about zoospore physiology. This work validates our metagenomics pipeline for eukaryote genome assembly from unpurified samples and enriches plasmodiophorid genomics; providing the first full annotation of the P. betae genome.

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