Structural Dynamics of Fusarium Genomes
H. Corby Kistler, Martijn Rep and Li-Jun Ma
from: Fusarium: Genomics, Molecular and Cellular Biology (Edited by: Daren W. Brown and Robert H. Proctor). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2013)
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 (teleomorph 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 read more ...