Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/20/2008
Publication Date: 8/20/2008
Citation: Klosterman, S.J., Veronese, P., Dobinson, K.F., Subbarao, K.V., Heiman, D.L., Young, S., Kodira, C.D., Alvarado, L., Galagan, J.E., Birren, B., Cuomo, C., Anchieta, A.G., Kang, S., Gold, S.E., Ma, L. 2008. Verticillium comparative genomics--understanding pathogenicity and diversity.. Phytopathology.
Technical Abstract: Verticillium dahliae is the primary causal agent of Verticillium wilt that causes billions of dollars in annual losses worldwide. This soil-borne fungal pathogen exhibits extraordinary genetic plasticity, capable of colonizing a broad range of hosts in diverse ecological niches. Moreover, V. dahliae can survive in the soil for up to 15 years as melanized microsclerotia, which makes the control of Verticillium wilt particularly difficult. One factor that has hindered progress in developing new control strategies for Verticillium wilt is our limited understanding of the biology and ecology of V. dahliae and related pathogens. We are employing a genomic approach to compare it to a closely related species V. albo-atrum that has distinct phenotypes with respect to pathogenicity and exhibits host range differences. A 7.5X assembly of the 33.8 Mb genome of a lettuce isolate of V. dahliae is now publicly available via the Broad Institute. This genome assembly was anchored to eight chromosomes via an optical map (~ 300X physical coverage). About 37,000 EST reads from three cDNA libraries of V. dahliae have been generated. A 4X assembly of an alfalfa isolate of V. albo-atrum is being prepared. We will report the progress of genome sequencing and annotation for these two Verticillium spp. and discuss notable genome features in the contexts of their distinct biology.