Scientific Publications

Comparative genomics reveals mobile pathogenicity chromosomes in Fusarium.

Publication TypeJournal Article
AuthorsMa, LJ, van der Does HC, Borkovich KA, Coleman JJ, Daboussi MJ, Di Pietro A., Dufresne M., Freitag M., Grabherr M., Henrissat B., Houterman PM, Kang S., Shim WB, Woloshuk C., Xie X., Xu JR, Antoniw J., Baker SE, Bluhm BH, Breakspear A., Brown DW, Butchko RA, Chapman S., Coulson R., Coutinho PM, Danchin EG, Diener A., Gale LR, Gardiner DM, Goff S., Hammond-Kosack KE, Hilburn K., Hua-Van A., Jonkers W., Kazan K., Kodira CD, Koehrsen M., Kumar L., Lee YH, Li L., Manners JM, Miranda-Saavedra D., Mukherjee M., Park G., Park J., Park SY, Proctor RH, Regev A., Ruiz-Roldan MC, Sain D., Sakthikumar S., Sykes S., Schwartz DC, Turgeon BG, Wapinski I., Yoder O., Young S., Zeng Q., Zhou S., Galagan J., Cuomo CA, Kistler HC, and Rep M.
AbstractFusarium species are among the most important phytopathogenic and toxigenic fungi. To understand the molecular underpinnings of pathogenicity in the genus Fusarium, we compared the genomes of three phenotypically diverse species: Fusarium graminearum, Fusarium verticillioides and Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici. Our analysis revealed lineage-specific (LS) genomic regions in F. oxysporum that include four entire chromosomes and account for more than one-quarter of the genome. LS regions are rich in transposons and genes with distinct evolutionary profiles but related to pathogenicity, indicative of horizontal acquisition. Experimentally, we demonstrate the transfer of two LS chromosomes between strains of F. oxysporum, converting a non-pathogenic strain into a pathogen. Transfer of LS chromosomes between otherwise genetically isolated strains explains the polyphyletic origin of host specificity and the emergence of new pathogenic lineages in F. oxysporum. These findings put the evolution of fungal pathogenicity into a new perspective.
Year of Publication2010
Date Published (YYYY/MM/DD)2010/03/18
ISSN Number0028-0836