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Article

Characterization of Host-Specific Genes from Pine- and Grass-Associated Species of the Fusarium fujikuroi Species Complex

1
Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, Forestry and Agricultural Biotechnology Institute (FABI), University of Pretoria, Private Bag X20, Pretoria 0028, South Africa
2
Biotechnology Platform, Agricultural Research Council, Onderstepoort, Pretoria 0110, South Africa
3
Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Unit, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agriculture Research Service, National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research, 1815 N. University St., Peoria, IL 61604, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giovanni Bubici
Pathogens 2022, 11(8), 858; https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080858 (registering DOI)
Received: 29 June 2022 / Revised: 20 July 2022 / Accepted: 25 July 2022 / Published: 29 July 2022
The Fusarium fujikuroi species complex (FFSC) includes socioeconomically important pathogens that cause disease for numerous crops and synthesize a variety of secondary metabolites that can contaminate feedstocks and food. Here, we used comparative genomics to elucidate processes underlying the ability of pine-associated and grass-associated FFSC species to colonize tissues of their respective plant hosts. We characterized the identity, possible functions, evolutionary origins, and chromosomal positions of the host-range-associated genes encoded by the two groups of fungi. The 72 and 47 genes identified as unique to the respective genome groups were potentially involved in diverse processes, ranging from transcription, regulation, and substrate transport through to virulence/pathogenicity. Most genes arose early during the evolution of Fusarium/FFSC and were only subsequently retained in some lineages, while some had origins outside Fusarium. Although differences in the densities of these genes were especially noticeable on the conditionally dispensable chromosome of F. temperatum (representing the grass-associates) and F. circinatum (representing the pine-associates), the host-range-associated genes tended to be located towards the subtelomeric regions of chromosomes. Taken together, these results demonstrate that multiple mechanisms drive the emergence of genes in the grass- and pine-associated FFSC taxa examined. It also highlighted the diversity of the molecular processes potentially underlying niche-specificity in these and other Fusarium species. View Full-Text
Keywords: Fusarium fujikuroi species complex; Fusarium circinatum; Fusarium temperatum; pitch canker; comparative genomics; host-specificity; horizontal gene transfer; subtelomeres Fusarium fujikuroi species complex; Fusarium circinatum; Fusarium temperatum; pitch canker; comparative genomics; host-specificity; horizontal gene transfer; subtelomeres
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MDPI and ACS Style

Dewing, C.; Van der Nest, M.A.; Santana, Q.C.; Proctor, R.H.; Wingfield, B.D.; Steenkamp, E.T.; De Vos, L. Characterization of Host-Specific Genes from Pine- and Grass-Associated Species of the Fusarium fujikuroi Species Complex. Pathogens 2022, 11, 858. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080858

AMA Style

Dewing C, Van der Nest MA, Santana QC, Proctor RH, Wingfield BD, Steenkamp ET, De Vos L. Characterization of Host-Specific Genes from Pine- and Grass-Associated Species of the Fusarium fujikuroi Species Complex. Pathogens. 2022; 11(8):858. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080858

Chicago/Turabian Style

Dewing, Claudette, Magrieta A. Van der Nest, Quentin C. Santana, Robert H. Proctor, Brenda D. Wingfield, Emma T. Steenkamp, and Lieschen De Vos. 2022. "Characterization of Host-Specific Genes from Pine- and Grass-Associated Species of the Fusarium fujikuroi Species Complex" Pathogens 11, no. 8: 858. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens11080858

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