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Phylogenomic analysis uncovers the evolutionary history of nutrition and infection mode in rice blast fungus and other Magnaporthales.

ABSTRACT: The order Magnaporthales (Ascomycota, Fungi) includes devastating pathogens of cereals, such as the rice blast fungus Pyricularia (Magnaporthe) oryzae, which is a model in host-pathogen interaction studies. Magnaporthales also includes saprotrophic species associated with grass roots and submerged wood. Despite its scientific and economic importance, the phylogenetic position of Magnaporthales within Sordariomycetes and the interrelationships of its constituent taxa, remain controversial. In this study, we generated novel transcriptome data from 21 taxa that represent key Magnaporthales lineages of different infection and nutrition modes and phenotypes. Phylogenomic analysis of >200 conserved genes allowed the reconstruction of a robust Sordariomycetes tree of life that placed the monophyletic group of Magnaporthales sister to Ophiostomatales. Among Magnaporthales, three major clades were recognized: 1) an early diverging clade A comprised of saprotrophs associated with submerged woods; 2) clade B that includes the rice blast fungus and other pathogens that cause blast diseases of monocot plants. These species infect the above-ground tissues of host plants using the penetration structure, appressorium; and 3) clade C comprised primarily of root-associated species that penetrate the root tissue with hyphopodia. The well-supported phylogenies provide a robust framework for elucidating evolution of pathogenesis, nutrition modes, and phenotypic characters in Magnaporthales.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4377577 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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