September 22, 2019  |  

A high-resolution genetic map of the cereal crown rot pathogen Fusarium pseudograminearum provides a near-complete genome assembly.

Fusarium pseudograminearum is an important pathogen of wheat and barley, particularly in semi-arid environments. Previous genome assemblies for this organism were based entirely on short read data and are highly fragmented. In this work, a genetic map of F. pseudograminearum has been constructed for the first time based on a mapping population of 178 individuals. The genetic map, together with long read scaffolding of a short read-based genome assembly, was used to give a near-complete assembly of the four F. pseudograminearum chromosomes. Large regions of synteny between F. pseudograminearum and F. graminearum, the related pathogen that is the primary causal agent of cereal head blight disease, were previously proposed in the core conserved genome, but the construction of a genetic map to order and orient contigs is critical to the validation of synteny and the placing of species-specific regions. Indeed, our comparative analyses of the genomes of these two related pathogens suggest that rearrangements in the F. pseudograminearum genome have occurred in the chromosome ends. One of these rearrangements includes the transposition of an entire gene cluster involved in the detoxification of the benzoxazolinone (BOA) class of plant phytoalexins. This work provides an important genomic and genetic resource for F. pseudograminearum, which is less well characterized than F. graminearum. In addition, this study provides new insights into a better understanding of the sexual reproduction process in F. pseudograminearum, which informs us of the potential of this pathogen to evolve.© 2016 BSPP AND JOHN WILEY & SONS LTD.

September 22, 2019  |  

Analysis of the hybrid genomes of two field isolates of the soil-borne fungal species Verticillium longisporum.

Brassica plant species are attacked by a number of pathogens; among them, the ones with a soil-borne lifestyle have become increasingly important. Verticillium stem stripe caused by Verticillium longisporum is one example. This fungal species is thought to be of a hybrid origin, having a genome composed of combinations of lineages denominated A and D. In this study we report the draft genomes of 2 V. longisporum field isolates sequenced using the Illumina technology. Genomic characterization and lineage composition, followed by selected gene analysis to facilitate the comprehension of its genomic features and potential effector categories were performed.The draft genomes of 2 Verticillium longisporum single spore isolates (VL1 and VL2) have an estimated ungapped size of about 70 Mb. The total number of protein encoding genes identified in VL1 was 20,793, whereas 21,072 gene models were predicted in VL2. The predicted genome size, gene contents, including the gene families coding for carbohydrate active enzymes were almost double the numbers found in V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were frequently distributed in the two genomes but the distribution of heterozygosity and depth was not independent. Further analysis of potential parental lineages suggests that the V. longisporum genome is composed of two parts, A1 and D1, where A1 is more ancient than the parental lineage genome D1, the latter being more closer related to V. dahliae. Presence of the mating-type genes MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 in the V. longisporum genomes were confirmed. However, the MAT genes in V. dahliae, V. albo-atrum and V. longisporum have experienced extensive nucleotide changes at least partly explaining the present asexual nature of these fungal species.The established draft genome of V. longisporum is comparatively large compared to other studied ascomycete fungi. Consequently, high numbers of genes were predicted in the two V. longisporum genomes, among them many secreted proteins and carbohydrate active enzyme (CAZy) encoding genes. The genome is composed of two parts, where one lineage is more ancient than the part being more closely related to V. dahliae. Dissimilar mating-type sequences were identified indicating possible ancient hybridization events.

September 22, 2019  |  

Nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of the hybrid fungal plant pathogen Verticillium longisporum display a mosaic structure

Allopolyploidization, genome duplication through interspecific hybridization, is an important evolutionary mechanism that can enable organisms to adapt to environmental changes or stresses. This increased adaptive potential of allopolyploids can be particularly relevant for plant pathogens in their quest for host immune response evasion. Allodiploidization likely caused the shift in host range of the fungal pathogen plant Verticillium longisporum, as V. longisporum mainly infects Brassicaceae plants in contrast to haploid Verticillium spp. In this study, we investigated the allodiploid genome structure of V. longisporum and its evolution in the hybridization aftermath. The nuclear genome of V. longisporum displays a mosaic structure, as numerous contigs consists of sections of both parental origins. V. longisporum encountered extensive genome rearrangements, whereas the contribution of gene conversion is negligible. Thus, the mosaic genome structure mainly resulted from genomic rearrangements between parental chromosome sets. Furthermore, a mosaic structure was also found in the mitochondrial genome, demonstrating its bi-parental inheritance. In conclusion, the nuclear and mitochondrial genomes of V. longisporum parents interacted dynamically in the hybridization aftermath. Conceivably, novel combinations of DNA sequence of different parental origin facilitated genome stability after hybridization and consecutive niche adaptation of V. longisporum.

September 22, 2019  |  

Homogenization of sub-genome secretome gene expression patterns in the allodiploid fungus Verticillium longisporum

Allopolyploidization, genome duplication through interspecific hybridization, is an important evolutionary mechanism that can enable organisms to adapt to environmental changes or stresses. The increased adaptive potential of allopolyploids can be particularly relevant for plant pathogens in their ongoing quest for host immune response evasion. To this end, plant pathogens secrete a plethora of molecules that enable host colonization. Allodiploidization has resulted in the new plant pathogen Verticillium longisporum that infects different hosts than haploid Verticillium species. To reveal the impact of allodiploidization on plant pathogen evolution, we studied the genome and transcriptome dynamics of V. longisporum using next-generation sequencing. V. longisporum genome evolution is characterized by extensive chromosomal rearrangements, between as well as within parental chromosome sets, leading to a mosaic genome structure. In comparison to haploid Verticillium species, V. longisporum genes display stronger signs of positive selection. The expression patterns of the two sub-genomes show remarkable resemblance, suggesting that the parental gene expression patterns homogenized upon hybridization. Moreover, whereas V. longisporum genes encoding secreted proteins frequently display differential expression between the parental sub-genomes in culture medium, expression patterns homogenize upon plant colonization. Collectively, our results illustrate of the adaptive potential of allodiploidy mediated by the interplay of two sub-genomes. Author summary Hybridization followed by whole-genome duplication, so-called allopolyploidization, provides genomic flexibility that is beneficial for survival under stressful conditions or invasiveness into new habitats. Allopolyploidization has mainly been studied in plants, but also occurs in other organisms, including fungi. Verticillium longisporum, an emerging fungal pathogen on brassicaceous plants, arose by allodiploidization between two Verticillium spp. We used comparative genomics to reveal the plastic nature of the V. longisporum genomes, showing that parental chromosome sets recombined extensively, resulting in a mosaic genome pattern. Furthermore, we show that non-synonymous substitutions frequently occurred in V. longisporum. Moreover, we reveal that expression patterns of genes encoding secreted proteins homogenized between the V. longisporum sub-genomes upon plant colonization. In conclusion, our results illustrate the large adaptive potential upon genome hybridization for fungi mediated by genomic plasticity and interaction between sub-genomes.

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