Plant pathogens from diverse taxonomic origins have been shown to secrete effector proteins into host plants to manipulate host physiology and establish infection. Verticillium dahliae is a soil-born fungus that causes Verticillium wilt disease in a wide range of crops, including cotton and olive. V. dahliae strains have previously been characterized as defoliating and non-defoliating strains based on their ability to cause defoliation on cotton, but the V. dahliae gene(s) that are involved in cotton defoliation remain unknown thus far. Here, we present a comparative genomics study defoliating and non-defoliating strains of V. dahliae that enabled us to identify a region of about 20 kb that specifically occurs in multiple defoliating strains. In this region, we were subsequently able to uncover a single highly-expressed gene that encodes a putative effector protein. Currently, we are performing experiments to confirm the role of this effector in cotton defoliation.
|Title of host publication||Abstract Book 5th International Conference on Biotic Plant Interaction, Xiamen, China 17-21 August 2017|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|