Molecular evidence for recent founder populations and human-mediated migration in the barley scald pathogen Rhynchosporium secalis.
ABSTRACT Rhynchosporium secalis is an important pathogen of barley globally. Fourteen polymorphic microsatellites were analyzed for 1664 R. secalis isolates sampled from 37 field populations to infer their demographic history. The results falsified the hypothesis that R. secalis co-evolved with its barley host in the Middle East. Populations from Scandinavia had significantly higher allelic diversities, the greatest number of private alleles and the highest genotypic diversities. All but three of the analyzed populations had an excess of gene diversity compared to the number of alleles, consistent with a recent population bottleneck. The remaining populations had a gene diversity deficit consistent with a population expansion following a recent population bottleneck in the last +/-100 years. A coalescent analysis revealed that the effective population sizes based on theta, of the analyzed populations were small relative to their ancestral population sizes, indicating that only a fraction of the diversity present in the ancestral populations was transmitted into current populations. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that the pathogen population on barley experienced a selection bottleneck imposed by the host and/or are founder populations. The mean estimate of migration rates was 2.2 (avg 90% confidence interval=1.3-3.1). Major migration routes were identified among populations separated by long distances, eg between South Africa and Australia, as well as among North Africa, the Middle East and California, suggesting contemporary exchange of infected barley seed. In contrast with earlier findings, most populations exhibited significant gametic disequilibrium, probably as a result of genetic drift. We conclude that the majority of R. secalis populations have experienced human-mediated migration that led to numerous and relatively recent founder events around the world.
Article: Contrasting patterns of genetic diversity and population structure of Armillaria mellea sensu stricto in the eastern and western United States.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: ABSTRACT Armillaria mellea infects hundreds of plant species in natural and managed ecosystems throughout the Northern hemisphere. Previously reported nuclear genetic divergence between eastern and western U.S. isolates is consistent with the disjunct range of A. mellea in North America, which is restricted mainly to both coasts of the United States. We investigated patterns of population structure and genetic diversity of the eastern (northern and southern Appalachians, Ozarks, and western Great Lakes) and western (Berkeley, Los Angeles, St. Helena, and San Jose, CA) regions of the United States. In total, 156 diploid isolates were genotyped using 12 microsatellite loci. Absence of genetic differentiation within either eastern subpopulations (theta(ST) = -0.002, P = 0.5 ) or western subpopulations (theta(ST) = 0.004, P = 0.3 ) suggests that spore dispersal within each region is sufficient to prevent geographic differentiation. In contrast to the western United States, our finding of more than one genetic cluster of isolates within the eastern United States (K = 3), revealed by Bayesian assignment of multilocus genotypes in STRUCTURE and confirmed by genetic multivariate analyses, suggests that eastern subpopulations are derived from multiple founder sources. The existence of amplifiable and nonamplifiable loci and contrasting patterns of genetic diversity between the two regions demonstrate that there are two geographically isolated, divergent genetic pools of A. mellea in the United States.Phytopathology 07/2010; 100(7):708-18. · 2.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Fungi are asexually and sexually reproducing organisms that can combine the evolutionary advantages of the two reproductive modes. However, for many fungi the sexual cycle has never been observed in the field or in vitro and it remains unclear whether sexual reproduction is absent or cryptic. Nevertheless, there are indirect approaches to assess the occurrence of sex in a species, such as population studies, expression analysis of genes involved in mating processes and analysis of their selective constraints. The members of the Phialocephala fortinii s. l. - Acephala applanata species complex (PAC) are ascomycetes and the predominant dark septate endophytes that colonize woody plant roots. Despite their abundance in many ecosystems of the northern hemisphere, no sexual state has been identified to date and little is known about their reproductive biology, and how it shaped their evolutionary history and contributes to their ecological role in forest ecosystems. We therefore aimed at assessing the importance of sexual reproduction by indirect approaches that included molecular analyses of the mating type (MAT) genes involved in reproductive processes. The study included 19 PAC species and > 3, 000 strains that represented populations from different hosts, continents and ecosystems. Whereas A. applanata had a homothallic (self-fertile) MAT locus structure, all other species were structurally heterothallic (self-sterile). Compatible mating types were observed to co-occur more frequently than expected by chance. Moreover, in > 80% of the populations a 1:1 mating type ratio and gametic equilibrium were found. MAT genes were shown to evolve under strong purifying selection. The signature of sex was found in worldwide populations of PAC species and functionality of MAT genes is likely preserved by purifying selection. We hypothesize that cryptic sex regularely occurs in the PAC and that further field studies and in vitro crosses will lead to the discovery of the sexual state. Although structurally heterothallic species prevail, it cannot be excluded that homothallism represents the ancestral breeding system in the PAC.BMC Evolutionary Biology 09/2011; 11:282. · 3.52 Impact Factor