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ARS Home » Midwest Area » St. Paul, Minnesota » Cereal Disease Lab » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #269789

Title: Structural dynamics of Fusarium genomes

item Kistler, Harold
item REP, MARTIJN - University Of Amsterdam
item MA, LI-JUN - University Of Massachusetts

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2012
Publication Date: 8/1/2013
Citation: Kistler, H.C., Rep, M., Ma, L. 2013. Structural dynamics of Fusarium genomes. In: Fusarium: genomics, molecular and cellular biology. Brown, D.W. and Proctor, R.H., Editors. Norwich, United Kingdom. Caister Academic Press. p. 46-60.

Interpretive Summary: Annually, plant diseases caused by the fungus Fusarium reduce the value of nearly every cultivated crop world-wide. Effective control measures for the diseases caused by these fungi usually are not readily available. We seek to develop new principles and measures for disease management by learning more about the spread and pathogenic adaptation of the fungi causing these diseases. Fusarium fungi have evolved novel methods by which they may change and transmit their pathogenic traits. Further knowledge of the genetic basis for pathogencity may be used to develop alternative approaches to loss management and control. 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: Fungi in the genus Fusarium have a great negative impact on the world economy, yet also hold great potential for answering many fundamental biological questions. The advance of sequencing technologies has made possible the connection between phenotypes and genetic mechanisms underlying the acquisition and diversification of such traits with economic and biological significance. This chapter provides a historical view of our understanding of genomic structural variation among Fusarium species. Prior to the genomic era, chromosomal variation was observed between Fusarium species and among isolates of F. oxysporum and F. solani (Nectria haematococca). Such observations led to the discovery of supernumerary chromosomes in Nectria haematococca MPVI and have established their role in fungal-plant interactions. Contemporary comparative genomic studies not only have confirmed the existence of supernumerary chromosomes in the F. oxysporum and F. solani genomes, but also have provided strong evidence for the horizontal transmission of these chromosomes and their role as genetic determinants of host specific virulence. Overall, knowledge of the highly dynamic Fusarium genomes establishes them as eukaryotic models allowing greater understanding of genome plasticity and adaptive evolution to ecological niches.