Combating a Global Threat to a Clonal Crop: Banana Black Sigatoka Pathogen Pseudocercospora fijiensis (Synonym Mycosphaerella fijiensis) Genomes Reveal Clues for Disease Control

Rafael E. Arango Isaza, Caucasella Diaz-Trujillo, Braham Dhillon, Andrea Aerts, Jean Carlier, Charles F. Crane, Tristan V. de Jong, Ineke de Vries, Robert Dietrich, Andrew D. Farmer, Claudia Fortes Fereira, Suzana Garcia, Mauricio Guzman, Richard C. Hamelin, Erika A. Lindquist, Rahim Mehrabi, Olman Quiros, Jeremy Schmutz, Harris Shapiro, Elizabeth ReynoldsGabriel Scalliet, Manoel Souza, Ioannis Stergiopoulos, Theo A.J. van der Lee, Pierre J.G.M. de Wit, Marie Françoise Zapater, Lute Harm Zwiers, Igor V. Grigoriev, Stephen B. Goodwin*, Gert H.J. Kema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1005876
JournalPlos Genetics
Volume12
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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    Arango Isaza, R. E., Diaz-Trujillo, C., Dhillon, B., Aerts, A., Carlier, J., Crane, C. F., V. de Jong, T., de Vries, I., Dietrich, R., Farmer, A. D., Fortes Fereira, C., Garcia, S., Guzman, M., Hamelin, R. C., Lindquist, E. A., Mehrabi, R., Quiros, O., Schmutz, J., Shapiro, H., ... Kema, G. H. J. (2016). Combating a Global Threat to a Clonal Crop: Banana Black Sigatoka Pathogen Pseudocercospora fijiensis (Synonym Mycosphaerella fijiensis) Genomes Reveal Clues for Disease Control. Plos Genetics, 12(8), [e1005876]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1005876