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The oomycetes are a class of ubiquitous, filamentous microorganisms that include some of the biggest threats to global food security and natural ecosystems. Within the oomycete class are highly diverse species that infect a broad range of animals and plants. Some of the most destructive plant pathogens are oomycetes, such as Phytophthora infestans, the agent of potato late blight and the cause of the Irish famine. Recent years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of sequenced oomycete genomes. Here we review the latest developments in oomycete genomics and some of the important insights that have been gained. Coupled with proteomic and transcriptomic analyses, oomycete genome sequences have revealed tremendous insights into oomycete biology, evolution, genome organization, mechanisms of infection, and metabolism. We also present an updated phylogeny of the oomycete class using a phylogenomic approach based on the 65 oomycete genomes that are currently available.
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