Vol 9: Patterns of Variation at Ustilago maydis Virulence Clusters 2A and 19A Largely Reflect the Demographic History of Its Populations.Report as inadecuate



 Vol 9: Patterns of Variation at Ustilago maydis Virulence Clusters 2A and 19A Largely Reflect the Demographic History of Its Populations.


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This article is from PLoS ONE, volume 9.AbstractThe maintenance of an intimate interaction between plant-biotrophic fungi and their hosts over evolutionary times involves strong selection and adaptative evolution of virulence-related genes. The highly specialised maize pathogen Ustilago maydis is assigned with a high evolutionary capability to overcome host resistances due to its high rates of sexual recombination, large population sizes and long distance dispersal. Unlike most studied fungus-plant interactions, the U. maydis – Zea mays pathosystem lacks a typical gene-for-gene interaction. It exerts a large set of secreted fungal virulence factors that are mostly organised in gene clusters. Their contribution to virulence has been experimentally demonstrated but their genetic diversity within U. maydis remains poorly understood. Here, we report on the intraspecific diversity of 34 potential virulence factor genes of U. maydis. We analysed their sequence polymorphisms in 17 isolates of U. maydis from Europe, North and Latin America. We focused on gene cluster 2A, associated with virulence attenuation, cluster 19A that is crucial for virulence, and the cluster-independent effector gene pep1. Although higher compared to four house-keeping genes, the overall levels of intraspecific genetic variation of virulence clusters 2A and 19A, and pep1 are remarkably low and commensurate to the levels of 14 studied non-virulence genes. In addition, each gene is present in all studied isolates and synteny in cluster 2A is conserved. Furthermore, 7 out of 34 virulence genes contain either no polymorphisms or only synonymous substitutions among all isolates. However, genetic variation of clusters 2A and 19A each resolve the large scale population structure of U. maydis indicating subpopulations with decreased gene flow. Hence, the genetic diversity of these virulence-related genes largely reflect the demographic history of U. maydis populations.



Author: Kellner, Ronny; Hanschke, Christian; Begerow, Dominik

Source: https://archive.org/



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