The oomycetes are a class of microscopic, filamentous eukaryotes within the Stramenopiles-Alveolata-Rhizaria (SAR) supergroup which includes ecologically significant animal and plant pathogens, most infamously the causative agent of potato blight Phytophthora infestans. Single-gene and concatenated phylogenetic studies both of individual oomycete genera and of members of the larger class have resulted in conflicting conclusions concerning species phylogenies within the oomycetes, particularly for the large Phytophthora genus. Genome-scale phylogenetic studies have successfully resolved many eukaryotic relationships by using supertree methods, which combine large numbers of potentially disparate trees to determine evolutionary relationships that cannot be inferred from individual phylogenies alone. With a sufficient amount of genomic data now available, we have undertaken the first whole-genome phylogenetic analysis of the oomycetes using data from 37 oomycete species and 6 SAR species. In our analysis, we used established supertree methods to generate phylogenies from 8,355 homologous oomycete and SAR gene families and have complemented those analyses with both phylogenomic network and concatenated supermatrix analyses. Our results show that a genome-scale approach to oomycete phylogeny resolves oomycete classes and individual clades within the problematic Phytophthora genus. Support for the resolution of the inferred relationships between individual Phytophthora clades varies depending on the methodology used. Our analysis represents an important first step in large-scale phylogenomic analysis of the oomycetes.
IMPORTANCE The oomycetes are a class of eukaryotes and include ecologically significant animal and plant pathogens. Single-gene and multigene phylogenetic studies of individual oomycete genera and of members of the larger classes have resulted in conflicting conclusions concerning interspecies relationships among these species, particularly for the Phytophthora genus. The onset of next-generation sequencing techniques now means that a wealth of oomycete genomic data is available. For the first time, we have used genome-scale phylogenetic methods to resolve oomycete phylogenetic relationships. We used supertree methods to generate single-gene and multigene species phylogenies. Overall, our supertree analyses utilized phylogenetic data from 8,355 oomycete gene families. We have also complemented our analyses with superalignment phylogenies derived from 131 single-copy ubiquitous gene families. Our results show that a genome-scale approach to oomycete phylogeny resolves oomycete classes and clades. Our analysis represents an important first step in large-scale phylogenomic analysis of the oomycetes.