Exploring Evolution and Biology of Oomycetes: Integrative and Comparative Genomics

Research output: ThesisDoctoral thesis 1 (Research UU / Graduation UU)


Diseases that destroy livestock and crops have had catastrophic effects on human civilization, causing starvation and economical losses and continue to be a constant threat to global food production. Pathogenic species occur throughout the tree of life including many bacteria, eukaryotic microorganisms and metazoans. The fascinating taxonomic class of oomycetes unites several important pathogenic eukaryotes of plants and animals. We have witnessed considerable advances characterizing the (molecular) biology of these species, in particular their interactions with the hosts, in the last decades. Nevertheless, our current knowledge still lags behind the possibilities provided by large-scale (gen)omics data which is nowadays easily accessible. Comparative genomics and integrative bioinformatics provide an important framework to accompany and complement classical experimental work to advance our knowledge of these species. This thesis describes four complementary comparative genomic studies focusing on different aspects of cellular function and evolution of pathogenic oomycetes. The analyses presented in this thesis highlight the merit of integrative and comparative genomics as a pivotal tool to explore the biology and evolution of oomycetes. They provide (testable) hypotheses on the evolution, biology and the function of as yet uncharacterized gene products in oomycetes, thereby significantly advancing our knowledge on this intriguing group of organisms.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Utrecht University
  • Hogeweg, P, Primary supervisor
  • Govers, F., Supervisor, External person
  • Snel, Berend, Co-supervisor
  • van den Ackerveken, Guido, Co-supervisor
Award date6 May 2013
Print ISBNs978-90-393-6929-6
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2013


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