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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Salinas, California » Crop Improvement and Protection Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #295890

Title: Verticillium alfalfae and V. dahliae, agents of Verticillium wilt diseases

item INDERBITIZIN, PATRIK - University Of California
item THOMMA, BART - Wageningen University And Research Center
item Klosterman, Steven
item SUBBARAO, KRISHNA - University Of California

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/25/2014
Publication Date: 10/1/2014
Citation: Inderbitzin, P., Thomma, B.P.H.J., Klosterman, S.J., Subbarao, K.V. 2014. Verticillium alfalfae and V. dahliae, agents of Verticillium wilt diseases. In: Dean, R.A., Lichens-Park, A., Kole, C., editors. Genomics of Plant-Associated Fungi and Oomycetes: Dicot Pathogens. Berlin Heidelberg, Germany: Springer-Verlag. p. 65-97.

Interpretive Summary: The fungus Verticillium dahliae causes economically important vascular wilt diseases on many crops and ornamental plants worldwide. The fungus penetrates the plant roots, and colonizes the plant xylem, leading to characteristic leaf wilting symptoms. In some cases, entire crops may be lost to the disease. DNA sequence analyses of Verticillium dahliae have contributed to our knowledge of genes that are important for survival of the pathogen, interaction with plant hosts, and diagnostic markers. These advances can help to limit the spread of the pathogen. With clear diagnostics of which strains of the pathogen are causing disease, as well as knowledge on the molecular bases for disease, these advances can also help in breeding plants that are resistant to Verticillium wilt.

Technical Abstract: Verticillium wilts are vascular wilt diseases caused by species of Verticillium, and are among the most devastating fungal diseases worldwide. Over 400 different plant hosts, including major agricultural crops and ornamentals, are susceptible to Verticillium wilt mainly in temperate, less frequently in subtropical, and rarely in tropical climates of the world. This chapter focuses mainly on the genomic sequence analyses that have been conducted on two agriculturally important species, V. alfalfae and V. dahliae for which annotated genome sequences are currently available. Analyses of these genomic sequences have yielded insights into genomic evolution of these pathogens through the formation of lineage-specific regions and transposon enrichment within these regions, and horizontal gene transfer events, from bacteria and plants. The availability of genomic sequences of Verticillium spp. has enabled the genome-wide analyses of effector proteins, signaling pathways, and facilitated genetic marker development for assessing genetic variation, comparative population genomics, and a better understanding of Verticillium taxonomy. In summary, genome-wide comparative analyses of Verticillium spp. have stimulated rapid advancements in Verticillium research. Equipped with an accurate taxonomy and knowledge of which effector genes control disease development, these advancements can be useful to limit the spread and to mitigate the impact of Verticillium wilts.