Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae is an experimentally tractable heterobasidiomycete fungal pathogen; it is an obligate biotroph which must complete its life cycle in a host plant. Dark teliospore masses give infected flowers a "smutted" appearance, thus the name "another smut". The disease sterilizes but does not kill the host plant, and infecting teliospores are spread between plants by pollinating insects . M. lychnidis-dioicae provides an exciting system to study the evolution of host/pathogen interactions in wild, non-agricultural environments [1, 2], where host populations are more heterogeneous than for agricultural pathogens. M. lychnidis-dioicae also serves as a model for emerging infectious disease through host shifts , for studying the evolution of sexual systems and sex chromosomes , and for identifying genes involved in pathogeneticity .
Our collaborators for this project include:
Michael Perlin, University of Louisville
David Schultz, University of Louisville
Genomic DNA for sequencing was provided by Dr. Michael Perlin at the University of Louisville.
Funding for the M. lychnidis-dioicae sequencing project was provided by the National Science Foundation.
Which strain is sequenced?
The strain chosen for sequencing is designated as p1A1 Lamole’ is a synonym of ‘MvSl-1064'.
Data access and Citation
The genome assembly and annotation of Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae is available in Genbank.
For use of this data, please cite: Perlin M et al., "Sex and parasites: genomic and transcriptomic analysis of Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae, the biotrophic and plant-castrating anther smut fungus.", BMC Genomics, 2015 Jun 16;16:461.
The photos in the top film strip, from left to right:
1. Female Silene latifolia flower infected with Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae Lamole strain. Residual ovary is readily observed. - Su San Toh, Department of Biology, Program on Disease Evolution, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
2. Directional growth of conjugation tube in Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae between sporidia of opposite mating types - Michael Hood, Department of Biology, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
3. Germination of telispore of Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae - Michael Hood, Department of Biology, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
4. Anthers containing Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae telispores - Michael Hood, Department of Biology, Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts
5. Male Silene latifolia flower infected with Microbotryum lychnidis-dioicae Lamole strain - Su San Toh, Department of Biology, Program on Disease Evolution, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky
1. Alexander, H.M., An experimental field study of anther-smut disease of Silene alba caused by Ustilago violacea: genotypic variation and disease incidence. Evolution, 1989. 43: p. 835-847.
2. Antonovics, J., M.E. Hood, and J. Partain, The ecology and genetics of host shift: Microbotryum as a model system. American Naturalist, 2002. 160: p. S40-S53.
3. Hood, M.E., J. Antonovics, and B. Koskella, Shared forces of sex chromosome evolution in haploid-mating and diploid-mating organisms: Microbotryum violaceum and other model organisms. Genetics, 2004. 168(1): p. 141-6.
4. Hughes, C.F. and M.H. Perlin, Differential expression of mepA, mepC and smtE during growth and development of Microbotryum violaceum. Mycologia, 2005. 97(3): p. 605-11.