Comparative “Omics” of the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex highlights differences in genetic potential and metabolite synthesis

Niehaus E.M., Muensterkoetter M., Proctor R., Brown D., Sharon A., Idan Y., Oren-Young L., Sieber C., Novak O., Pencik A., Tarkowska D., et al.

Keywords: Fusarium fujikuroi species complex, genome sequencing, secondary metabolism, in planta expression, metabolomics, evolution
Abstract: Species of the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex (FFC) cause a wide spectrum of often devastating diseases on diverse agricultural crops, including coffee, fig, mango, maize, rice, and sugarcane. Although species within the FFC are difficult to distinguish by morphology, and their genes often share 90% sequence similarity, they can differ in host plant specificity and life style. FFC species can also produce structurally diverse secondary metabolites (SMs), including the mycotoxins fumonisins, fusarins, fusaric acid, and beauvericin, and the phytohormones gibberellins, auxins, and cytokinins. The spectrum of SMs produced can differ among closely related species, suggesting that SMs might be determinants of host specificity. To date, genomes of only a limited number of FFC species have been sequenced. Here, we provide draft genome sequences of three more members of the FFC: a single isolate of F. mangiferae, the cause of mango malformation, and two isolates of F. proliferatum, one a pathogen of maize and the other an orchidendophyte.Wecomparedthesegenomes to publicly availablegenomesequences of threeother FFCspecies. Thecomparisons revealed species-specific and isolate-specific differences in the composition and expression (in vitro and in planta) of genes involved in SMproduction including those for phytohormomebiosynthesis. Such differences have the potential to impact host specificity and, as in the case of F. proliferatum, the pathogenic versus endophytic life style.
DOI: 10.1093/gbe/evw259 IEB authors: Ondřej Novák, Aleš Pěnčík, Danuše Tarkowská