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Kasuga T.,Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit | Kozanitas M.,University of California at Berkeley | Bui M.,Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit | Huberli D.,University of California at Berkeley | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

The oomycete pathogen Phytophthora ramorum is responsible for sudden oak death (SOD) in California coastal forests. P. ramorum is a generalist pathogen with over 100 known host species. Three or four closely related genotypes of P. ramorum (from a single lineage) were originally introduced in California forests and the pathogen reproduces clonally. Because of this the genetic diversity of P. ramorum is extremely low in Californian forests. However, P. ramorum shows diverse phenotypic variation in colony morphology, colony senescence, and virulence. In this study, we show that phenotypic variation among isolates is associated with the host species from which the microbe was originally cultured. Microarray global mRNA profiling detected derepression of transposable elements (TEs) and down-regulation of crinkler effector homologs (CRNs) in the majority of isolates originating from coast live oak (Quercus agrifolia), but this expression pattern was not observed in isolates from California bay laurel (Umbellularia californica). In some instances, oak and bay laurel isolates originating from the same geographic location had identical genotypes based on multilocus simples sequence repeat (SSR) marker analysis but had different phenotypes. Expression levels of the two marker genes analyzed by quantitative reverse transcription PCR were correlated with originating host species, but not with multilocus genotypes. Because oak is a nontransmissive dead-end host for P. ramorum, our observations are congruent with an epi-transposon hypothesis; that is, physiological stress is triggered on P. ramorum while colonizing oak stems and disrupts epigenetic silencing of TEs. This then results in TE reactivation and possibly genome diversification without significant epidemiological consequences. We propose the P. ramorum-oak host system in California forests as an ad hoc model for epi-transposon mediated diversification. Source

Travadon R.,University of California at Davis | Baumgartner K.,Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit
Phytopathology | Year: 2015

Pathogen adaptation to different hosts can lead to specialization and, when coupled with reproductive isolation, genome-wide differentiation and ecological speciation. We tested the hypothesis of host specialization among California populations of Eutypa lata (causal fungus of Eutypa dieback of grapevine and apricot), which is reported from >90 species. Genetic analyses of nine microsatellite loci in 182 isolates from three hosts (grapevine, apricot, and willow) at three locations were complemented by cross-inoculations on cultivated hosts grapevine and apricot to reveal patterns of host specialization. The cultivated hosts are likely more important sources of inoculum than the wild host willow, based on our findings of higher pathogen prevalence and allelic richness in grapevine and apricot. High levels of gene flow among all three hosts and locations, and no grouping by clustering analyses, suggest neither host nor geographic differentiation. Cross-inoculations revealed diversified phenotypes harboring various performance levels in grapevine and apricot, with no apparent correlation with their host of origin. Such phenotypic diversity may enable this pathogen to persist and reproduce as a generalist. Regular genetic reshuffling through sexual recombination, frequent immigration among hosts, and the lack of habitat choice in this passively dispersed fungus may prevent fixation of alleles controlling host specialization. © 2015 The American Phytopathological Society. Source

Brodersen C.R.,University of Florida | Mcelrone A.J.,University of Florida | Choat B.,Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit | Lee E.F.,Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit | And 2 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2013

Long-distance water transport through plant xylem is vulnerable to hydraulic dysfunction during periods of increased tension on the xylem sap, often coinciding with drought. While the effects of local and systemic embolism on plant water transport and physiology are well documented, the spatial patterns of embolism formation and spread are not well understood. Using a recently developed nondestructive diagnostic imaging tool, high-resolution x-ray computed tomography, we documented the dynamics of drought-induced embolism in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) plants in vivo, producing the first three-dimensional, highresolution, time-lapse observations of embolism spread. Embolisms formed first in the vessels surrounding the pith at stem water potentials of approximately -1.2 megapascals in drought experiments. As stem water potential decreased, embolisms spread radially toward the epidermis within sectored vessel groupings via intervessel connections and conductive xylem relays, and infrequently (16 of 629 total connections) through lateral connections into adjacent vessel sectors. Theoretical loss of conductivity calculated from the high-resolution x-ray computed tomography images showed good agreement with previously published nuclear magnetic resonance imaging and hydraulic conductivity experiments also using grapevine. Overall, these data support a growing body of evidence that xylem organization is critically important to the isolation of drought-induced embolism spread and confirm that air seeding through the pit membranes is the principle mechanism of embolism spread. © 2013 American Society of Plant Biologists. All Rights Reserved. Source

McElrone A.J.,Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE | Year: 2013

Advanced micrometeorological methods have become increasingly important in soil, crop, and environmental sciences. For many scientists without formal training in atmospheric science, these techniques are relatively inaccessible. Surface renewal and other flux measurement methods require an understanding of boundary layer meteorology and extensive training in instrumentation and multiple data management programs. To improve accessibility of these techniques, we describe the underlying theory of surface renewal measurements, demonstrate how to set up a field station for surface renewal with eddy covariance calibration, and utilize our open-source turnkey data logger program to perform flux data acquisition and processing. The new turnkey program returns to the user a simple data table with the corrected fluxes and quality control parameters, and eliminates the need for researchers to shuttle between multiple processing programs to obtain the final flux data. An example of data generated from these measurements demonstrates how crop water use is measured with this technique. The output information is useful to growers for making irrigation decisions in a variety of agricultural ecosystems. These stations are currently deployed in numerous field experiments by researchers in our group and the California Department of Water Resources in the following crops: rice, wine and raisin grape vineyards, alfalfa, almond, walnut, peach, lemon, avocado, and corn. Source

Brodersen C.R.,University of California at Davis | Brodersen C.R.,Crops Pathology and Genetics Research Unit | McElrone A.J.,University of California at Davis | Choat B.,Australian National University | And 2 more authors.
Plant Physiology | Year: 2010

Water moves through plants under tension and in a thermodynamically metastable state, leaving the nonliving vessels that transport this water vulnerable to blockage by gas embolisms. Failure to reestablish flow in embolized vessels can lead to systemic loss of hydraulic conductivity and ultimately death. Most plants have developed a mechanism to restore vessel functionality by refilling embolized vessels, but the details of this process in vessel networks under tension have remained unclear for decades. Here we present, to our knowledge, the first in vivo visualization and quantification of the refilling process for any species using high-resolution x-ray computed tomography. Successful vessel refilling in grapevine (Vitis vinifera) was dependent on water influx from surrounding living tissue at a rate of 6 × 104 μm s-1, with individual droplets expanding over time, filling vessels, and forcing the dissolution of entrapped gas. Both filling and draining processes could be observed in the same vessel, indicating that successful refilling requires hydraulic isolation from tensions that would otherwise prevent embolism repair. Our study demonstrates that despite the presence of tensions in the bulk xylem, plants are able to restore hydraulic conductivity in the xylem. © 2010 American Society of Plant Biologists. Source

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