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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Cereal Disease Lab » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #249707

Title: Genomic Organization of Fungal Plant Pathogenicity

item REP, MARTIJN - University Of Amsterdam
item Kistler, Harold

Submitted to: Current Opinion in Plant Biology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/13/2010
Publication Date: 5/13/2010
Citation: Rep, M., Kistler, H.C. 2010. Genomic Organization of Fungal Plant Pathogenicity. Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 13:420-426.

Interpretive Summary: Fungi known as Fusarium species cause economically important disease on nearly every cultivated plant, including wheat and barley head blight, soybean sudden death, and Panama disease of banana. Many Fusarium species also are notorious for producing mycotoxins, such as trichothecenes or fumonisins, which are harmful to both human and animals. Due to their importance to agriculture, extensive genomic resources have been developed for these pathogens, including whole genome sequences of the four Fusarium species mentioned in this publication.These Fusarium species differ in their host and tissue specificities, infection mechanisms, and the diseases they cause. Building upon the available genomic resources and employing functional genomics, this publication describes genes and genome organizations required for the pathogenicity. This information will be helpful to plant improvement specialists who are working to develop plants resistant to these pathogens or for developing novel strategies for disease control.

Technical Abstract: The recent large scale genomic sequencing of fungal phytopathogens has revolutionized the study of plant pathogenesis. Initially, having whole genome sequence (WGS) data for individual fungal genomes has accelerated classical forward and reverse genetic approaches for identifying pathogenicity genes themselves. But more recently, the availability of several WGS assemblies for comparative genomic analysis has enabled unprecedented opportunities for tracing the evolutionary origin and demise of genes and molecules that influence the outcome of fungal-plant interactions. Moreover, the overall genomic organization of fungal pathogenicity related genes has suggested novel ways of molecular diversification and genetic transmission. We here highlight recent insights into the evolution of disease-causing ability in fungal plant pathogens, focusing the comparative genomic analysis of plant pathogenic Fusarium species with additional reference to other fungal phytopathogens.