Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 440055
Title Extensive chromosomal reshuffling drives evolution of virulence in an asexual pathogen
Author(s) Jonge, R. de; Bolton, M.D.; Kombrink, A.; Berg, G.C.M. van den; Yadeta, K.A.; Thomma, B.P.H.J.
Source Genome Research 23 (2013). - ISSN 1088-9051 - p. 1271 - 1282.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/gr.152660.112
Department(s) Laboratory of Phytopathology
EPS-2
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) rice blast fungus - verticillium-albo-atrum - filamentous ascomycete fungi - chitin-triggered immunity - de-novo identification - magnaporthe-oryzae - mycosphaerella-graminicola - comparative genomics - resistance genes - rna-seq
Abstract Sexual recombination drives genetic diversity in eukaryotic genomes and fosters adaptation to novel environmental challenges. Although strictly asexual microorganisms are often considered as evolutionary dead ends, they comprise many devastating plant pathogens. Presently, it remains unknown how such asexual pathogens generate the genetic variation that is required for quick adaptation and evolution in the arms race with their hosts. Here we show that extensive chromosomal rearrangements in the strictly asexual plant pathogenic fungus Verticillium dahliae establish highly dynamic lineage-specific (LS) genomic regions that act as a source for genetic variation to mediate aggressiveness. We show that such LS regions are greatly enriched for in planta-expressed effector genes, encoding secreted proteins that enable host colonization. The LS regions occur at the flanks of chromosomal breakpoints and are enriched for retrotransposons and other repetitive sequence elements. Our results demonstrate that asexual pathogens may evolve by prompting chromosomal rearrangements, enabling rapid development of novel effector genes. Likely, chromosomal reshuffling can act as a general mechanism for adaptation in asexually propagating organisms.
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