The two-speed genome of Verticillium dahliae mediates emergence of potent virulence factors

B.P.H.J. Thomma, L. Faino, J. Li, X. Shi-Kunne, J.R.L. Depotter, H.M. Kramer, G.C.M. van den Berg-Velthuis, David Cook III, H.J. Rövenich, M.F. Seidl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingAbstract


Genomic plasticity enables adaptation to changing environments, which is especially relevant for pathogens that engage in “arms races” with their hosts. In many pathogens, virulence genes reside in highly variable, transposon-rich, physically distinct genomic compartments. However, understanding of the evolution of such compartments, and the role of transposons therein, remains limited. We show that transposons are the major driving force for adaptive genome evolution in the fungal plant pathogen Verticillium dahliae, and that highly variable lineage-specific (LS) regions evolved by genomic rearrangements that are mediated by erroneous double-strand repair, often utilizing transposons. Remarkably, LS regions are enriched in active transposons, which may contribute to local genome plasticity. Thus, we provide evidence for genome shaping by transposons, both in an active and passive manner, which impacts the evolution of V. dahliae virulence. Based on this knowledge, we are now able to identify crucial virulence factors of V. dahliae, which also allows investigating causal relationships between particular effectors and pathotypes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBook of Abstracts 29th Fungal Genetics Conference Asilomar 17, Pacific Grove, CA, USA 14-19 March 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event29th Fungal Genetics Conference - Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, CA, United States
Duration: 14 Mar 201719 Mar 2017


Conference29th Fungal Genetics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityPacific Grove, CA
Internet address


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