Geosmithia morbida is a filamentous ascomycete that causes Thousand Cankers Disease in the eastern black walnut tree. This pathogen is commonly found in the western U.S.; however, recently the disease was also detected in several eastern states where the black walnut lumber industry is concentrated. G. morbida is one of two known phytopathogens within the genus Geosmithia, and it is vectored into the host tree via the walnut twig beetle. We present the first de novo draft genome of G. morbida. It is 26.5 Mbp in length and contains less than 1% repetitive elements. The genome possesses an estimated 6,273 genes, 277 of which are predicted to encode proteins with unknown functions. Approximately 31.5% of the proteins in G. morbida are homologous to proteins involved in pathogenicity, and 5.6% of the proteins contain signal peptides that indicate these proteins are secreted. Several studies have investigated the evolution of pathogenicity in pathogens of agricultural crops; forest fungal pathogens are often neglected because research efforts are focused on food crops. G. morbida is one of the few tree phytopathogens to be sequenced, assembled and annotated. The first draft genome of G. morbida serves as a valuable tool for comprehending the underlying molecular and evolutionary mechanisms behind pathogenesis within the Geosmithia genus.
Keywords: de novo genome assembly, pathogenesis, forest pathogen, black walnut, walnut twig beetle.