Evolutionary dynamics of mating-type loci of Mycosphaerella spp. occurring on banana.
ABSTRACT: The devastating Sigatoka disease complex of banana is primarily caused by three closely related heterothallic fungi belonging to the genus Mycosphaerella: M. fijiensis, M. musicola, and M. eumusae. Previous phylogenetic work showing common ancestry led us to analyze the mating-type loci of these Mycosphaerella species occurring on banana. We reasoned that this might provide better insight into the evolutionary history of these species. PCR and chromosome-walking approaches were used to clone the mating-type loci of M. musicola and M. eumusae. Sequences were compared to the published mating-type loci of M. fijiensis and other Mycosphaerella spp., and a novel organization of the MAT loci was found. The mating-type loci of the examined Mycosphaerella species are expanded, containing two additional Mycosphaerella-specific genes in a unique genomic organization. The proteins encoded by these novel genes show a higher interspecies than intraspecies homology. Moreover, M. fijiensis, M. musicola, and M. eumusae contain two additional mating-type-like loci, containing parts of both MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1. The data indicate that M. fijiensis, M. musicola, and M. eumusae share an ancestor in which a fusion event occurred between MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-2-1 sequences and in which additional genes became incorporated into the idiomorph. The new genes incorporated have since then evolved independently in the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 loci. Thus, these data are an example of the evolutionary dynamics of fungal MAT loci in general and show the great flexibility of the MAT loci of Mycosphaerella species in particular.
Project description:Three species of Mycosphaerella, namely M. eumusae, M. fijiensis, and M. musicola are involved in the Sigatoka disease complex of bananas. Besides these three primary pathogens, several additional species of Mycosphaerella or their anamorphs have been described from Musa. However, very little is known about these taxa, and for the majority of these species no culture or DNA is available for study. In the present study, we collected a global set of Mycosphaerella strains from banana, and compared them by means of morphology and a multi-gene nucleotide sequence data set. The phylogeny inferred from the ITS region and the combined data set containing partial gene sequences of the actin gene, the small subunit mitochondrial ribosomal DNA and the histone H3 gene revealed a rich diversity of Mycosphaerella species on Musa. Integration of morphological and molecular data sets confirmed more than 20 species of Mycosphaerella (incl. anamorphs) to occur on banana. This study reconfirmed the previously described presence of Cercospora apii, M. citri and M. thailandica, and also identified Mycosphaerella communis, M. lateralis and Passalora loranthi on this host. Moreover, eight new species identified from Musa are described, namely Dissoconium musae, Mycosphaerella mozambica, Pseudocercospora assamensis, P. indonesiana, P. longispora, Stenella musae, S. musicola, and S. queenslandica.
Project description:Mycosphaerella fijiensis, causal agent of black Sigatoka disease of banana, is a Dothideomycete fungus closely related to fungi that produce polyketides important for plant pathogenicity. We utilized the M. fijiensis genome sequence to predict PKS genes and their gene clusters and make bioinformatics predictions about the types of compounds produced by these clusters. Eight PKS gene clusters were identified in the M. fijiensis genome, placing M. fijiensis into the 23rd percentile for the number of PKS genes compared to other Dothideomycetes. Analysis of the PKS domains identified three of the PKS enzymes as non-reducing and two as highly reducing. Gene clusters contained types of genes frequently found in PKS clusters including genes encoding transporters, oxidoreductases, methyltransferases, and non-ribosomal peptide synthases. Phylogenetic analysis identified a putative PKS cluster encoding melanin biosynthesis. None of the other clusters were closely aligned with genes encoding known polyketides, however three of the PKS genes fell into clades with clusters encoding alternapyrone, fumonisin, and solanapyrone produced by Alternaria and Fusarium species. A search for homologs among available genomic sequences from 103 Dothideomycetes identified close homologs (>80% similarity) for six of the PKS sequences. One of the PKS sequences was not similar (< 60% similarity) to sequences in any of the 103 genomes, suggesting that it encodes a unique compound. Comparison of the M. fijiensis PKS sequences with those of two other banana pathogens, M. musicola and M. eumusae, showed that these two species have close homologs to five of the M. fijiensis PKS sequences, but three others were not found in either species. RT-PCR and RNA-Seq analysis showed that the melanin PKS cluster was down-regulated in infected banana as compared to growth in culture. Three other clusters, however were strongly upregulated during disease development in banana, suggesting that they may encode polyketides important in pathogenicity.
Project description:A rapid and sensitive loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method was developed for the specific detection of Pseudocercospora eumusae. The LAMP primers designed based on the specific SCAR (Sequence Characterized Amplified Region) marker sequence of P. eumusae proved highly specific to P. eumusae and there was no cross reactivity with closely related Pseudocercospora spp. (P. fijiensis and P. musicola) and 17 other leaf spot causing fungal pathogens of banana. The developed LAMP method exhibited greater sensitivity as the minimum detectable concentration of P. eumusae genomic DNA was 10 ?g/µl which was 100 times lower than that of conventional PCR (1 ng/µl).This method also detected the target pathogen from crude DNA of the mycelium and single leaf spot tissues which eliminates laborious purification steps in DNA isolation and requires less operational time. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report on the development of this LAMP method to specifically detect and diagnose P. eumusae pathogen from pure cultures and leaf spot tissues.
Project description:Black Sigatoka or black leaf streak disease, caused by the Dothideomycete fungus Pseudocercospora fijiensis (previously: Mycosphaerella fijiensis), is the most significant foliar disease of banana worldwide. Due to the lack of effective host resistance, management of this disease requires frequent fungicide applications, which greatly increase the economic and environmental costs to produce banana. Weekly applications in most banana plantations lead to rapid evolution of fungicide-resistant strains within populations causing disease-control failures throughout the world. Given its extremely high economic importance, two strains of P. fijiensis were sequenced and assembled with the aid of a new genetic linkage map. The 74-Mb genome of P. fijiensis is massively expanded by LTR retrotransposons, making it the largest genome within the Dothideomycetes. Melting-curve assays suggest that the genomes of two closely related members of the Sigatoka disease complex, P. eumusae and P. musae, also are expanded. Electrophoretic karyotyping and analyses of molecular markers in P. fijiensis field populations showed chromosome-length polymorphisms and high genetic diversity. Genetic differentiation was also detected using neutral markers, suggesting strong selection with limited gene flow at the studied geographic scale. Frequencies of fungicide resistance in fungicide-treated plantations were much higher than those in untreated wild-type P. fijiensis populations. A homologue of the Cladosporium fulvum Avr4 effector, PfAvr4, was identified in the P. fijiensis genome. Infiltration of the purified PfAVR4 protein into leaves of the resistant banana variety Calcutta 4 resulted in a hypersensitive-like response. This result suggests that Calcutta 4 could carry an unknown resistance gene recognizing PfAVR4. Besides adding to our understanding of the overall Dothideomycete genome structures, the P. fijiensis genome will aid in developing fungicide treatment schedules to combat this pathogen and in improving the efficiency of banana breeding programs.
Project description:Yeast mating type is determined by the genotype at the mating type locus (MAT). In homothallic (self-fertile) Saccharomycotina such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Kluveromyces lactis, high-efficiency switching between a and ? mating types enables mating. Two silent mating type cassettes, in addition to an active MAT locus, are essential components of the mating type switching mechanism. In this study, we investigated the structure and functions of mating type genes in H. polymorpha (also designated as Ogataea polymorpha). The H. polymorpha genome was found to harbor two MAT loci, MAT1 and MAT2, that are ?18 kb apart on the same chromosome. MAT1-encoded ?1 specifies ? cell identity, whereas none of the mating type genes were required for a identity and mating. MAT1-encoded ?2 and MAT2-encoded a1 were, however, essential for meiosis. When present in the location next to SLA2 and SUI1 genes, MAT1 or MAT2 was transcriptionally active, while the other was repressed. An inversion of the MAT intervening region was induced by nutrient limitation, resulting in the swapping of the chromosomal locations of two MAT loci, and hence switching of mating type identity. Inversion-deficient mutants exhibited severe defects only in mating with each other, suggesting that this inversion is the mechanism of mating type switching and homothallism. This chromosomal inversion-based mechanism represents a novel form of mating type switching that requires only two MAT loci.
Project description:The Sigatoka disease complex, caused by the closely-related Dothideomycete fungi Pseudocercospora musae (yellow sigatoka), Pseudocercospora eumusae (eumusae leaf spot), and Pseudocercospora fijiensis (black sigatoka), is currently the most devastating disease on banana worldwide. The three species emerged on bananas from a recent common ancestor and show clear differences in virulence, with P. eumusae and P. fijiensis considered the most aggressive. In order to understand the genomic modifications associated with shifts in the species virulence spectra after speciation, and to identify their pathogenic core that can be exploited in disease management programs, we have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of P. eumusae and P. musae and compared them with the available genome sequence of P. fijiensis. Comparative analysis of genome architectures revealed significant differences in genome size, mainly due to different rates of LTR retrotransposon proliferation. Still, gene counts remained relatively equal and in the range of other Dothideomycetes. Phylogenetic reconstruction based on a set of 46 conserved single-copy genes strongly supported an earlier evolutionary radiation of P. fijiensis from P. musae and P. eumusae. However, pairwise analyses of gene content indicated that the more virulent P. eumusae and P. fijiensis share complementary patterns of expansions and contractions in core gene families related to metabolism and enzymatic degradation of plant cell walls, suggesting that the evolution of virulence in these two pathogens has, to some extent, been facilitated by convergent changes in metabolic pathways associated with nutrient acquisition and assimilation. In spite of their common ancestry and shared host-specificity, the three species retain fairly dissimilar repertoires of effector proteins, suggesting that they likely evolved different strategies for manipulating the host immune system. Finally, 234 gene families, including seven putative effectors, were exclusively present in the three Sigatoka species, and could thus be related to adaptation to the banana host.
Project description:Coccidioides species, the fungi responsible for the valley fever disease, are known to reproduce asexually through the production of arthroconidia that are the infectious propagules. The possible role of sexual reproduction in the survival and dispersal of these pathogens is unexplored. To determine the potential for mating of Coccidioides, we analyzed genome sequences and identified mating type loci characteristic of heterothallic ascomycetes. Coccidioides strains contain either a MAT1-1 or a MAT1-2 idiomorph, which is 8.1 or 9 kb in length, respectively, the longest reported for any ascomycete species. These idiomorphs contain four or five genes, respectively, more than are present in the MAT loci of most ascomycetes. Along with their cDNA structures, we determined that all genes in the MAT loci are transcribed. Two genes frequently found in common sequences flanking MAT idiomorphs, APN2 and COX13, are within the MAT loci in Coccidioides, but the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 copies have diverged dramatically from each other. Data indicate that the acquisition of these genes in the MAT loci occurred prior to the separation of Coccidioides from Uncinocarpus reesii. An analysis of 436 Coccidioides isolates from patients and the environment indicates that in both Coccidioides immitis and C. posadasii, there is a 1:1 distribution of MAT loci, as would be expected for sexually reproducing species. In addition, an analysis of isolates obtained from 11 soil samples demonstrated that at three sampling sites, strains of both mating types were present, indicating that compatible strains were in close proximity in the environment.
Project description:Sexual reproduction among the black yeasts is generally limited to environmental saprobic species and is rarely observed among opportunists in humans. To date, a complete sexual cycle has not been observed in Exophiala dermatitidis. In this study, we aimed to gain insight into the reproductive mode of E. dermatitidis by characterizing its mating type (MAT) locus, conducting MAT screening of environmental and clinical isolates, examining the expression of the MAT genes and analyzing the virulence of the isolates of different mating types. Similar to other members of the Pezizomycotina, the E. dermatitidis genome harbors a high mobility group (HMG) domain gene (MAT1-2-1) in the vicinity of the SLA2 and APN2 genes. The MAT loci of 74 E. dermatitidis isolates (11 clinical and 63 environmental) were screened by PCR, and the surrounding region was amplified using long-range PCR. Sequencing of the???12-kb PCR product of a MAT1-1 isolate revealed an ?-box gene (MAT1-1-1). The MAT1-1 idiomorph was 3544-bp long and harbored the MAT1-1-1 and MAT1-1-4 genes. The MAT1-2 idiomorph was longer, 3771-bp, and harbored only the MAT1-2-1 gene. This structure suggests a heterothallic reproduction mode. The distribution of MAT among 74 isolates was???1:1 with a MAT1-1:MAT1-2 ratio of 35:39. RT-PCR analysis indicated that the MAT genes are transcribed. No significant difference was detected in the virulence of isolates representing different mating types using a Galleria mellonella model (P?>?0.05). Collectively, E. dermatitidis is the first opportunistic black yeast in which both MAT idiomorphs have been characterized. The occurrence of isolates bearing both idiomorphs, their approximately equal distribution, and the expression of the MAT genes suggest that E. dermatitidis might reproduce sexually.
Project description:Sexual reproduction in fungi is regulated by the mating-type (MAT) locus where recombination is suppressed. We investigated the evolution of MAT loci in eight fungal species belonging to Grosmannia and Ophiostoma (Sordariomycetes, Ascomycota) that include conifer pathogens and beetle symbionts. The MAT1-2 idiomorph/allele was identified from the assembled and annotated Grosmannia clavigera genome, and the MAT locus is flanked by genes coding for cytoskeleton protein (SLA) and DNA lyase. The synteny of these genes is conserved and consistent with other members in Ascomycota. Using sequences from SLA and flanking regions, we characterized the MAT1-1 idiomorph from other isolates of G. clavigera and performed dotplot analysis between the two idiomorphs. Unexpectedly, the MAT1-2 idiomorph contains a truncated MAT1-1-1 gene upstream of the MAT1-2-1 gene that bears the high-mobility-group domain. The nucleotide and amino acid sequence of the truncated MAT1-1-1 gene is similar to its homologous copy in the MAT1-1 idiomorph in the opposite mating-type isolate, except that positive selection is acting on the truncated gene and the alpha(?)-box that encodes the transcription factor has been deleted. The MAT idiomorphs sharing identical gene organization were present in seven additional species in the Ophiostomatales, suggesting that the presence of truncated MAT1-1-1 gene is a general pattern in this order. We propose that an ancient unequal recombination event resulted in the ancestral MAT1-1-1 gene integrated into the MAT1-2 idiomorph and surviving as the truncated MAT1-1-1 genes. The ?-box domain of MAT1-1-1 gene, located at the same MAT locus adjacent to the MAT1-2-1 gene, could have been removed by deletion after recombination due to mating signal interference. Our data confirmed a 1:1 MAT/sex ratio in two pathogen populations, and showed that all members of the Ophiostomatales studied here including those that were previously deemed asexual have the potential to reproduce sexually. This ability can potentially increase genetic variability and can enhance fitness in new, ecological niches.
Project description:The fungal genus Stemphylium (Ascomycota) contains selfing species that evolved from outcrossing ancestors. To find out how selfing originated, we analyzed the Stemphylium MAT loci that regulate sexual reproduction in ascomycetes and compared MAT structures and phylogeny with a multigene Stemphylium species phylogeny. We found that some Stemphylium species' MAT loci contained a single gene, either MAT1-1 or MAT1-2, whereas others contained a unique fusion of the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 regions. In all fused MAT regions, MAT1-1 was inverted and joined to a forward-oriented MAT1-2 region. As in the closely related Cochliobolus, Stemphylium species with fused MAT regions were able to self. Structural and phylogenetic analyses of the MAT loci showed that the selfing-conferring fused MAT regions were monophyletic with strong support. However, in an organismal phylogeny of Stemphylium species based on 106 isolates and four loci unrelated to mating, selfing arose in two clades, each time with strong support. Isolates with identical fused MAT regions were present in both clades. We showed that a one-time origin of the fused MAT loci, followed by a horizontal transfer across lineages, was compatible with the data. Another group of selfers in Stemphylium only had forward-oriented MAT1-1 at their MAT loci, constituting an additional and third origin of selfing in Stemphylium.