Standardizing the nomenclature for clonal lineages of the sudden oak death pathogen, Phytophthora ramorum.

Phytopathology (Impact Factor: 2.97). 08/2009; 99(7):792-5. DOI: 10.1094/PHYTO-99-7-0792
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Phytophthora ramorum, the causal agent of sudden oak death and ramorum blight, is known to exist as three distinct clonal lineages which can only be distinguished by performing molecular marker-based analyses. However, in the recent literature there exists no consensus on naming of these lineages. Here we propose a system for naming clonal lineages of P. ramorum based on a consensus established by the P. ramorum research community. Clonal lineages are named with a two letter identifier for the continent on which they were first found (e.g., NA = North America; EU = Europe) followed by a number indicating order of appearance. Clonal lineages known to date are designated NA1 (mating type: A2; distribution: North America; environment: forest and nurseries), NA2 (A2; North America; nurseries), and EU1 (predominantly A1, rarely A2; Europe and North America; nurseries and gardens). It is expected that novel lineages or new variants within the existing three clonal lineages could in time emerge.

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    ABSTRACT: Phytophthora plant pathogens contain many hundreds of effectors potentially involved in infection of host plants. Comparative genomic analyses have shown that these effectors evolve rapidly and have been subject to recent expansions. We examined the recent sequence evolution of RXLR-class effector gene families in the sudden oak death pathogen, P. ramorum. We found that P. ramorum RXLR effectors have taken multiple evolutionary paths, including loss or gain of repeated domains, recombination or gene conversion among paralogs, and selection on point mutations. Sequencing of homologs from two subfamilies in P. ramorum's closest known relatives revealed repeated gene duplication and divergence since speciation with P. lateralis. One family showed strong signatures of recombination while the other family has evolved primarily by point mutation. Comparison of a small number of the hundreds of RXLR-class effectors across three clonal lineages of P. ramorum shows striking divergence in alleles among lineages, suggesting the potential for functional differences between lineages. Our results suggest future avenues for examination of rapidly evolving effectors in P. ramorum, including investigation of the functional and coevolutionary significance of the patterns of sequence evolution that we observed.
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