The Fusarium solani (FSSC) and F. oxysporum (FOSC) species complexes are two fungal clades adapted to diverse ecological niches, including plant pathogenicity on diverse hosts and the ability to engage in unique metabolic activities. Members of the FSSC and FOSC cause some of the most destructive and intractable diseases across a diverse spectrum of hosts, including many economically important crops and many potential biofuel crops. Detailed genomic analyses of selected members of the FSSC and FOSC has revealed that these fungi harbor supernumerary chromosomes and portions of larger chromosomes that are dominated by genes absent in other Fusarium genomes analyzed thus far. The available evidence suggests the broad host range and the pathogenesis of isolates from the FSSC and FOSC on candidate biofuel crops may be due to virulence factors on supernumerary chromosomes in these fungi. Genome sequences of additional FSSC and FOSC isolates that sample the diversity of these complexes are needed to fully elucidate the functional diversity of these species-rich clades.
Proposer’s Name: Jeffrey Coleman