Mitochondrial genomes reveal recombination in the presumed asexual Fusarium oxysporum species complex

Balázs Brankovics*, Peter van Dam, Martijn Rep, G.S. de Hoog, Theo A.J. van der Lee, Cees Waalwijk, Anne D. van Diepeningen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The Fusarium oxysporum species complex (FOSC) contains several phylogenetic lineages. Phylogenetic studies identified two to three major clades within the FOSC. The mitochondrial sequences are highly informative phylogenetic markers, but have been mostly neglected due to technical difficulties. Results: A total of 61 complete mitogenomes of FOSC strains were de novo assembled and annotated. Length variations and intron patterns support the separation of three phylogenetic species. The variable region of the mitogenome that is typical for the genus Fusarium shows two new variants in the FOSC. The variant typical for Fusarium is found in members of all three clades, while variant 2 is found in clades 2 and 3 and variant 3 only in clade 2. The extended set of loci analyzed using a new implementation of the genealogical concordance species recognition method support the identification of three phylogenetic species within the FOSC. Comparative analysis of the mitogenomes in the FOSC revealed ongoing mitochondrial recombination within, but not between phylogenetic species. Conclusions: The recombination indicates the presence of a parasexual cycle in F. oxysporum. The obstacles hindering the usage of the mitogenomes are resolved by using next generation sequencing and selective genome assemblers, such as GRAbB. Complete mitogenome sequences offer a stable basis and reference point for phylogenetic and population genetic studies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number735
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Comparative genomics
  • Mitochondrial genome
  • Mitochondrial recombination
  • Phylogenomics


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