The impact of interspecific hybridization on fungal plant pathogens: a case study onthe emerging pathogen Verticillium longisporum

Jasper R.L. Depotter

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


Species are biological entities that generally do not cross with one another. However, in rare occasions it occurs that a viable hybrid arises from a cross between two species. Such hybrids may contain particular properties different from their parents and may be more successful in particular ecosystems. The fungal genus Verticillium contains important haploid plant pathogens that cause significant yield losses on a wide range of crops. Crosses between two Verticillium species resulted into a novel hybrid pathogen of oilseed rape, Verticillium longisporum. Around ten years ago, Verticillium longisporum was observed for the first time in the United Kingdom and is currently widespread in this country. To assess the threat this pathogen poses on UK oilseed rape production, we characterized the UK Verticillium longisporum population and tested the impact of this disease on several oilseed rape cultivars. Furthermore, we studied the consequences of hybridization on genome and gene evolution, showing how novel traits may evolve in hybrid pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Thomma, Bart, Promotor
  • Wood, T.A., Co-promotor, External person
  • Seidl, Michael, Co-promotor
Award date14 Sep 2018
Place of PublicationWageningen
Print ISBNs9789463432993
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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