Comparative genomics reveals mobile pathogenicity chromosomes in Fusarium.
Fusarium 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 Publication||
2010 Mar 18
|PubMed Central ID||
R01 GM086565 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
R01 GM086565-03 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States
BBS/E/C/00004973 / Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council / United Kingdom
DP1 OD003958 / OD / NIH HHS / United States
R01 HG000225 / HG / NHGRI NIH HHS / United States