Ash dieback has been flagged as a serious issue in the UK and is currently a particularly a serious issue in East Anglia.
Ash dieback is generally described as being caused by the fungus Chalara fraxinea.
Comments and investigations here relate to the ‘mixed material’ transcriptomics sample taken from an infected branch by TSL with sequencing carried out at TGAC.
The mixed sample contains fungal sequences, plant sequences and some apparent insect sequences. The relevance of the insect sequences is unknown.
following generation of a preliminary Pfam domain set, and mapping this to GO, EC numbers, KOG and PRK, examination of the set was carried out with a view to looking into regions of interest. This preliminary Pfam domain set contains 3778 unique Pfam domains.
Several domains linked to copper oxidases and copper transport are present. In total, 71 domains linked to copper were identified, mostly those of multicopper oxidases.
The multicopper oxidases do what they say on the tin, containing copper and oxidising compounds. Oxygen is required as a substrate. Laccase is an example of a mutlicopper oxidase, and act on phenols and similar molecules. They can also play a role in the formation of lignin by oxidative coupling of monolignols. Other laccases, such as from Pleurotus ostreatus can play a role in lignin degradation.
This could potentially be of interest in fields such as bioenergy from plant material degradation.
Of the 71 domains above, 7 related to plant sequences, 2 to insect sequences and the balance related to fungal sequences as determined by BLASTn analysis.