Submitted to: Annual Review of Phytopathology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: January 31, 2011
Publication Date: September 1, 2011
Citation: Grunwald, N.J., Goss, E.M. 2011. Evolution and population genetics of exotic and re-emerging pathogens: Novel tools and approaches. Annual Review of Phytopathology. 49:249-267. Technical Abstract: Given human population growth and accelerated global trade, the rate of emergence of exotic plant pathogens is bound to increase. Understanding the processes that lead to the emergence of new pathogens can help manage emerging epidemics. Novel tools to analyze population genetic variation can be used to infer the evolutionary history of populations or species, allowing for the unprecedented reconstruction of the demographic history of pathogens. Specifically, recent advances in the application of coalescent, maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods to population genetic data combined with increasing availability of affordable sequencing and parallel computing has created the opportunity to apply these methods to a broad range of questions regarding the evolution of emerging pathogens. These approaches are particularly powerful when used to test multiple competing hypotheses. We provide several examples illustrating how coalescent analysis provides critical insights into understanding migration pathways as well as processes of divergence, speciation, and recombination.