September 22, 2019  |  

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

Authors: Depotter, Jasper and van Beveren, Fabian and van den Berg, Grardy and Wood, Tom and Thomma, Bart and Seidl, Michael

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.

Journal: BioRxiv
DOI: 10.1101/249565
Year: 2018

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