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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: COMPARATIVE GENOMIC SYSTEMS FOR MOLECULAR DETECTION AND CONTROL OF TOXIGENIC FUSARIUM

Location: Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens & Mycology Research Unit

Title: Fusarium Pathogenomics

Authors
item Ma, Li-Jun -
item Geiser, David -
item Proctor, Robert
item Rooney, Alejandro
item O`donnell, Kerry
item Trail, Frances -
item Gardiner, Donald -
item Manners, John -
item Kazan, Kemal -

Submitted to: Annual Review of Microbiology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: January 18, 2013
Publication Date: September 1, 2013
Citation: Ma, L., Geiser, D.M., Proctor, R.H., Rooney, A.P., O'Donnell, K., Trail, F., Gardiner, D.M., Manners, J.M., Kazan, K. 2013. Fusarium Pathogenomics. Annual Review of Microbiology. 67:399-416.

Interpretive Summary: Fusarium is a cosmopolitan genus of filamentous fungi that includes many toxin-producing plant pathogens of agricultural importance. Fusaria produce a diverse array of toxins that can contaminate agricultural products making them unsuitable for food or feed. The present review was conducted to highlight several major discoveries that have emerged from analyses of complete genome sequences of six genetically diverse Fusarium species. The three most important discoveries include: 1) comparative analyses have revealed that Fusarium genomes are compartmentalized into regions responsible for essential functions (i.e., growth, reproduction and survival) and host specialization and plant pathogenicity; 2) rapid emergence of novel pathogens can take place when chromosomes containing genes associated with pathogenicity are acquired by nonpathogens; and 3) Fusarium has the genetic potential to produce many more toxins than previously thought based on chemical analyses. The present review highlights the need for additional comparative genomic analyses of plant pathogenic, toxin-producing Fusarium species to elucidate the origin and diversity of toxins and to aid in the development of robust molecular diagnostics in support of agricultural biosecurity. This review will be of interest to plant pathologists, plant breeders and quarantine officials worldwide

Technical Abstract: Fusarium is a genus of filamentous fungi that contains many agronomically important plant pathogens, mycotoxin producers, and opportunistic human pathogens. Comparative analyses have revealed compartmentalization of genomes into regions responsible for metabolism and reproduction (core genome) and pathogen virulence and host specialization (adaptive genome). The latter regions have been shown to be located on pathogenicity chromosomes within strains pathogenic to tomato (F. oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici, Fol) and pea (F. ‘solani’ f. sp. pisi). The experimental transfer of pathogenicity chromosomes from Fol into a nonpathogen transformed the latter into a tomato pathogen. Thus, horizontal transfer may explain the polyphyletic origins of host specificity within the genus. Additional comparative genome-scale studies are needed to elucidate the evolution and diversity of pathogenicity mechanisms, which may help inform novel disease management strategies against fusarial pathogens.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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