Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/12/2013
Publication Date: 11/8/2013
Citation: Goodwin, S.B. 2013. Dothideomycetes: Plant pathogens, saprobes and extremophiles. In: Martin, F. editor. The Ecological Genomics of Fungi. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p. 119-147.
Technical Abstract: The Dothideomycetes is the largest and most ecologically diverse class of fungi, containing more than 19,000 species in 1,300 genera, 90 families and 12 orders. This huge abundance of species is matched by a correspondingly high ecological and biological diversity. Some Dothideomycetes are lichenized and there is some speculation that all Dothideomycetes may have been derived from a lichenized ancestor. Saprotrophs range from passive degraders of dead plant biomass to extremophiles that exploit harsh niches in both terrestrial and aquatic environments. The most well known Dothideomycetes are those that are associated with plants, particularly as pathogens, but others are endophytes and a very few form symbiotic mycorrhizal associations. Virtually every major crop and almost all wild plant hosts are infected by multiple species of Dothideomycetes. These pathogens greatly increase costs and can be major impediments to sustainable agricultural production. To better understand the biology and evolution of species in this class, many were chosen for genomic sequencing. Sequencing of saprobes and extremophiles will be very useful for comparisons with the pathogens to identify genes involved in host-pathogen interactions and to elucidate the genetic processes involved in adaptations to extremes of heat, cold, solar radiation, desiccation, low pH and many others. Sequencing of the pathogens has identified many putative effector proteins that may be involved in host-pathogen interactions. It also identified a novel form of chromosomal evolution that is peculiar to the Dothideomycetes, and provided the first evidence for transduplication by movement of genes through transposable elements in any fungi.