Evolutionary relationships between Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lycopersici and F. oxysporum f. sp. radicis-lycopersici isolates inferred from mating type, elongation factor-1a exopolygalacturonase sequences

B. Lievens, P. van Baarlen, C. Verreth, S. van Kerckhove, M. Rep, B.P.H.J. Thomma

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Fusarium oxysporum is a ubiquitous species complex of soilborne plant pathogens that comprises many different formae speciales, each characterized by a high degree of host specificity. In this study, the evolutionary relationships between different isolates of the F. oxysporum species complex have been examined, with a special emphasis on the formae speciales lycopersici and radicis-lycopersici, sharing tomato as host while causing different symptoms. Phylogenetic analyses of partial sequences of a housekeeping gene, the elongation factor-1a (EF-1a) gene, and a gene encoding a pathogenicity trait, the exopolygalacturonase (pgx4) gene, were conducted on a worldwide collection of F. oxysporum strains representing the most frequently observed vegetative compatibility groups of these formae speciales. Based on the reconstructed phylogenies, multiple evolutionary lineages were found for both formae speciales. However, different tree topologies and statistical parameters were obtained for the cladograms as several strains switched from one cluster to another depending on the locus that was used to infer the phylogeny. In addition, mating type analysis showed a mixed distribution of the MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 alleles in the F. oxysporum species complex, irrespective of the geographic origin of the tested isolates. This observation, as well as the topological conflicts that were detected between EF-1a and pgx4, are discussed in relation to the evolutionary history of the F. oxysporum species complex.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1181-1191
JournalMycological Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009



  • vegetative compatibility groups
  • intergenic spacer region
  • genetic diversity
  • formae-speciales
  • coccidioides-immitis
  • horizontal transfer
  • fungus fusarium
  • sp vasinfectum
  • phylogeny
  • complex

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