Project description:Oat crown rust, caused by the fungus Pucinnia coronata f. sp. avenae, is a devastating disease that impacts worldwide oat production. For much of its life cycle, P. coronata f. sp. avenae is dikaryotic, with two separate haploid nuclei that may vary in virulence genotype, highlighting the importance of understanding haplotype diversity in this species. We generated highly contiguous de novo genome assemblies of two P. coronata f. sp. avenae isolates, 12SD80 and 12NC29, from long-read sequences. In total, we assembled 603 primary contigs for 12SD80, for a total assembly length of 99.16 Mbp, and 777 primary contigs for 12NC29, for a total length of 105.25 Mbp; approximately 52% of each genome was assembled into alternate haplotypes. This revealed structural variation between haplotypes in each isolate equivalent to more than 2% of the genome size, in addition to about 260,000 and 380,000 heterozygous single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 12SD80 and 12NC29, respectively. Transcript-based annotation identified 26,796 and 28,801 coding sequences for isolates 12SD80 and 12NC29, respectively, including about 7,000 allele pairs in haplotype-phased regions. Furthermore, expression profiling revealed clusters of coexpressed secreted effector candidates, and the majority of orthologous effectors between isolates showed conservation of expression patterns. However, a small subset of orthologs showed divergence in expression, which may contribute to differences in virulence between 12SD80 and 12NC29. This study provides the first haplotype-phased reference genome for a dikaryotic rust fungus as a foundation for future studies into virulence mechanisms in P. coronata f. sp. avenaeIMPORTANCE Disease management strategies for oat crown rust are challenged by the rapid evolution of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae, which renders resistance genes in oat varieties ineffective. Despite the economic importance of understanding P. coronata f. sp. avenae, resources to study the molecular mechanisms underpinning pathogenicity and the emergence of new virulence traits are lacking. Such limitations are partly due to the obligate biotrophic lifestyle of P. coronata f. sp. avenae as well as the dikaryotic nature of the genome, features that are also shared with other important rust pathogens. This study reports the first release of a haplotype-phased genome assembly for a dikaryotic fungal species and demonstrates the amenability of using emerging technologies to investigate genetic diversity in populations of P. coronata f. sp. avenae.
Project description:Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae (Pca) causes crown rust disease in cultivated and wild oat (Avena spp.). The significant yield losses inflicted by this pathogen make crown rust the most devastating disease in the oat industry. Pca is a basidiomycete fungus with an obligate biotrophic lifestyle, and is classified as a typical macrocyclic and heteroecious fungus. The asexual phase in the life cycle of Pca occurs in oat, whereas the sexual phase takes place primarily in Rhamnus species as the alternative host. Epidemics of crown rust happens in areas with warm temperatures (20-25 °C) and high humidity. Infection by the pathogen leads to plant lodging and shrivelled grain of poor quality. Disease symptoms: Infection of susceptible oat varieties gives rise to orange-yellow round to oblong uredinia (pustules) containing newly formed urediniospores. Pustules vary in size and can be larger than 5 mm in length. Infection occurs primarily on the surfaces of leaves, although occasional symptoms develop in the oat leaf sheaths and/or floral structures, such as awns. Symptoms in resistant oat varieties vary from flecks to small pustules, typically accompanied by chlorotic halos and/or necrosis. The pycnial and aecial stages are mostly present in the leaves of Rhamnus species, but occasionally symptoms can also be observed in petioles, young stems and floral structures. Aecial structures display a characteristic hypertrophy and can differ in size, occasionally reaching more than 5 mm in diameter. Taxonomy: Pca belongs to the kingdom Fungi, phylum Basidiomycota, class Pucciniomycetes, order Pucciniales and family Pucciniaceae. Host range: Puccinia coronata sensu lato can infect 290 species of grass hosts. Pca is prevalent in all oat-growing regions and, compared with other cereal rusts, displays a broad telial host range. The most common grass hosts of Pca include cultivated hexaploid oat (Avena sativa) and wild relatives, such as bluejoint grass, perennial ryegrass and fescue. Alternative hosts include several species of Rhamnus, with R. cathartica (common buckthorn) as the most important alternative host in Europe and North America. CONTROL:Most crown rust management strategies involve the use of rust-resistant crop varieties and the application of fungicides. The attainment of the durability of resistance against Pca is difficult as it is a highly variable pathogen with a great propensity to overcome the genetic resistance of varieties. Thus, adult plant resistance is often exploited in oat breeding programmes to develop new crown rust-resistant varieties. Useful website: https://www.ars.usda.gov/midwest-area/st-paul-mn/cereal-disease-lab/docs/cereal-rusts/race-surveys/.
Project description:Diseases caused by crown rust (Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae) and powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. avenae) are among the most important constraints for the oat crop. Breeding for resistance is one of the most effective, economical, and environmentally friendly means to control these diseases. The purpose of this work was to identify elite alleles for rust and powdery mildew resistance in oat by association mapping to aid selection of resistant plants. To this aim, 177 oat accessions including white and red oat cultivars and landraces were evaluated for disease resistance and further genotyped with 31 simple sequence repeat and 15,000 Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers to reveal association with disease resistance traits. After data curation, 1712 polymorphic markers were considered for association analysis. Principal component analysis and a Bayesian clustering approach were applied to infer population structure. Five different general and mixed linear models accounting for population structure and/or kinship corrections and two different statistical tests were carried out to reduce false positive. Five markers, two of them highly significant in all models tested were associated with rust resistance. No strong association between any marker and powdery mildew resistance at the seedling stage was identified. However, one DArT sequence, oPt-5014, was strongly associated with powdery mildew resistance in adult plants. Overall, the markers showing the strongest association in this study provide ideal candidates for further studies and future inclusion in strategies of marker-assisted selection.
Project description:Pathogen populations are expected to evolve virulence traits in response to resistance deployed in agricultural settings. However, few temporal datasets have been available to characterize this process at the population level. Here, we examined two temporally separated populations of Puccinia coronata f. sp. avenae (Pca), which causes crown rust disease in oat (Avena sativa) sampled from 1990 to 2015. We show that a substantial increase in virulence occurred from 1990 to 2015 and this was associated with a genetic differentiation between populations detected by genome-wide sequencing. We found strong evidence for genetic recombination in these populations, showing the importance of the alternate host in generating genotypic variation through sexual reproduction. However, asexual expansion of some clonal lineages was also observed within years. Genome-wide association analysis identified seven Avr loci associated with virulence towards fifteen Pc resistance genes in oat and suggests that some groups of Pc genes recognize the same pathogen effectors. The temporal shift in virulence patterns in the Pca populations between 1990 and 2015 is associated with changes in allele frequency in these genomic regions. Nucleotide diversity patterns at a single Avr locus corresponding to Pc38, Pc39, Pc55, Pc63, Pc70, and Pc71 showed evidence of a selective sweep associated with the shift to virulence towards these resistance genes in all 2015 collected isolates.
Project description:Cereal rust fungi (Puccinia spp.) are among the most economically important plant pathogens. These fungi have a complex life cycle, including five spore stages and two hosts. They infect one grass host on which they reproduce clonally and cause the cereal rust diseases, while the alternate host is required for sexual reproduction. Although previous studies clearly demonstrate the importance of the alternate host in creating genetic diversity in cereal rust fungi, little is known about the amount of novel genotypes created in each successful completion of a sexual reproduction event.In this study, single sequence repeat markers were used to study the genotypic diversity within aecial clusters by genotyping individual aecial cups. Two common cereal rusts, Puccinia graminis causing stem rust and Puccinia coronata the causal agent of crown rust were investigated. We showed that under natural conditions, a single aecial cluster usually include several genotypes, either because a single pycnial cluster is fertilized by several different pycniospores, or because aecia within the cluster are derived from more than one fertilized adjoining pycnial cluster, or a combination of both.Our results imply that although sexual events in cereal rust fungi in most regions of the world are relatively rare, the events that occur may still significantly contribute to the genetic variation within the pathogen populations.
Project description:Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici is the cause of wheat stem rust. A microarray was designed from genes predicted from the P. graminis f. sp. tritici genome assembly, and gene expression measured for four conditions which include wheat or barley infecting growth stages initiated by urediniospores. mRNA was prepared from fresh urediniospores, uredinospores germinated for 24 hr, wheat seedlings infected with urediniospores for 8 days, and barley seedlings infected with urediniospores for 8 days. The asexual uredinial infection cycle on wheat produces additional urediniospores, which can start new cycles of wheat infection and are readily spread by aerial transport. This expression data is further described in Duplessis et al, Obligate Biotrophy Features Unraveled by the Genomic Analysis of the Rust Fungi, Melampsora larici-populina and Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici Overall design: A total of 12 samples were analyzed, including three biological replicates of the four conditions.
Project description:Cultivated oat (Avena sativa), an important crop in many countries, can suffer significant losses through infection by the fungus Puccinia coronata, the causal agent of crown rust disease. Understanding the molecular basis of existing partial resistance to this disease might provide targets of interest for crop improvement programs. A suppressive subtractive hybridization (SSH) library was constructed using cDNA from the partially resistant oat genotype MN841801-1 after inoculation with the pathogen. A total of 929 genes returned a BLASTx hit and were annotated under different GO terms, including 139 genes previously described as participants in mechanisms related to the defense response and signal transduction. Among these were genes involved in pathogen recognition, cell-wall modification, oxidative burst/ROS scavenging, and abscisic acid biosynthesis, as well genes related to inducible defense responses mediated by salicylic and jasmonic acid (although none of which had been previously reported involved in strong responses). These findings support the hypothesis that basal defense mechanisms are the main systems operating in oat partial resistance to P. coronata. When the expression profiles of 20 selected genes were examined at different times following inoculation with the pathogen, the partially resistant genotype was much quicker in mounting a response than a susceptible genotype. Additionally, a number of genes not previously described in oat transcriptomes were identified in this work, increasing our molecular knowledge of this crop.
Project description:Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici is the cause of wheat stem rust. A microarray was designed from genes predicted from the P. graminis f. sp. tritici genome assembly, and gene expression measured for four conditions which include wheat or barley infecting growth stages initiated by urediniospores. mRNA was prepared from fresh urediniospores, uredinospores germinated for 24 hr, wheat seedlings infected with urediniospores for 8 days, and barley seedlings infected with urediniospores for 8 days. The asexual uredinial infection cycle on wheat produces additional urediniospores, which can start new cycles of wheat infection and are readily spread by aerial transport. This expression data is further described in Duplessis et al, Obligate Biotrophy Features Unraveled by the Genomic Analysis of the Rust Fungi, Melampsora larici-populina and Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici A total of 12 samples were analyzed, including three biological replicates of the four conditions.
Project description:The abundance and inherent potential for extensive allelic variations in simple sequence repeats (SSRs) or microsatellites resulted in valuable source for genetic markers in eukaryotes. In this study, we analyzed and compared the abundance and organisation of SSR in the genome of two important fungal pathogens of wheat, brown or leaf rust (Puccinia triticina) and black or stem rust (Puccinia graminis f. sp. tritici). P. triticina genome with two fold genome size as compared to P. graminis tritici has lower relative abundance and SSR density. The distribution pattern of different SSR motifs provides the evidence of greater accumulation of dinucleotide followed by trinucleotide repeats. More than two-hundred different types of repeat motifs were observed in the genomes. The longest SSR motifs varied in both genomes and some of the repeat motifs are found in higher frequency. The information about survey of relative abundance, relative density, length and frequency of different repeat motifs in Puccinia sp. will be useful for developing SSR markers that could find several applications in analysis of fungal genome such as genetic diversity, population genetics, race identification and acquisition of new virulence.
Project description:A long-standing biological question is how evolution has shaped the genomic architecture of dikaryotic fungi. To answer this, high-quality genomic resources that enable haplotype comparisons are essential. Short-read genome assemblies for dikaryotic fungi are highly fragmented and lack haplotype-specific information due to the high heterozygosity and repeat content of these genomes. Here, we present a diploid-aware assembly of the wheat stripe rust fungus Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici based on long reads using the FALCON-Unzip assembler. Transcriptome sequencing data sets were used to infer high-quality gene models and identify virulence genes involved in plant infection referred to as effectors. This represents the most complete Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici genome assembly to date (83 Mb, 156 contigs, N50 of 1.5 Mb) and provides phased haplotype information for over 92% of the genome. Comparisons of the phase blocks revealed high interhaplotype diversity of over 6%. More than 25% of all genes lack a clear allelic counterpart. When we investigated genome features that potentially promote the rapid evolution of virulence, we found that candidate effector genes are spatially associated with conserved genes commonly found in basidiomycetes. Yet, candidate effectors that lack an allelic counterpart are more distant from conserved genes than allelic candidate effectors and are less likely to be evolutionarily conserved within the P. striiformis species complex and Pucciniales In summary, this haplotype-phased assembly enabled us to discover novel genome features of a dikaryotic plant-pathogenic fungus previously hidden in collapsed and fragmented genome assemblies.IMPORTANCE Current representations of eukaryotic microbial genomes are haploid, hiding the genomic diversity intrinsic to diploid and polyploid life forms. This hidden diversity contributes to the organism's evolutionary potential and ability to adapt to stress conditions. Yet, it is challenging to provide haplotype-specific information at a whole-genome level. Here, we take advantage of long-read DNA sequencing technology and a tailored-assembly algorithm to disentangle the two haploid genomes of a dikaryotic pathogenic wheat rust fungus. The two genomes display high levels of nucleotide and structural variations, which lead to allelic variation and the presence of genes lacking allelic counterparts. Nonallelic candidate effector genes, which likely encode important pathogenicity factors, display distinct genome localization patterns and are less likely to be evolutionary conserved than those which are present as allelic pairs. This genomic diversity may promote rapid host adaptation and/or be related to the age of the sequenced isolate since last meiosis.