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Choi Y.-J.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Choi Y.-J.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Thines M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Thines M.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Thines M.,Integrative Fungal Research Cluster IPF
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Even though the microevolution of plant hosts and pathogens has been intensely studied, knowledge regarding macro-evolutionary patterns is limited. Having the highest species diversity and host-specificity among Oomycetes, downy mildews are a useful a model for investigating long-term host-pathogen coevolution. We show that phylogenies of Bremia and Asteraceae are significantly congruent. The accepted hypothesis is that pathogens have diverged contemporarily with their hosts. But maximum clade age estimation and sequence divergence comparison reveal that congruence is not due to long-term coevolution but rather due to host-shift driven speciation (pseudo-cospeciation). This pattern results from parasite radiation in related hosts, long after radiation and speciation of the hosts. As large host shifts free pathogens from hosts with effector triggered immunity subsequent radiation and diversification in related hosts with similar innate immunity may follow, resulting in a pattern mimicking true co-divergence, which is probably limited to the terminal nodes in many pathogen groups. © 2015 Choi, Thines. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Choi Y.-J.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Choi Y.-J.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Klosterman S.J.,U.S. Department of Agriculture | Kummer V.,University of Potsdam | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution | Year: 2015

Accurate species determination of plant pathogens is a prerequisite for their control and quarantine, and further for assessing their potential threat to crops. The family Peronosporaceae (Straminipila; Oomycota) consists of obligate biotrophic pathogens that cause downy mildew disease on angiosperms, including a large number of cultivated plants. In the largest downy mildew genus Peronospora, a phylogenetically complex clade includes the economically important downy mildew pathogens of spinach and beet, as well as the type species of the genus Peronospora. To resolve this complex clade at the species level and to infer evolutionary relationships among them, we used multi-locus phylogenetic analysis and species tree estimation. Both approaches discriminated all nine currently accepted species and revealed four previously unrecognized lineages, which are specific to a host genus or species. This is in line with a narrow species concept, i.e. that a downy mildew species is associated with only a particular host plant genus or species. Instead of applying the dubious name Peronospora farinosa, which has been proposed for formal rejection, our results provide strong evidence that Peronospora schachtii is an independent species from lineages on Atriplex and apparently occurs exclusively on Beta vulgaris. The members of the clade investigated, the Peronospora rumicis clade, associate with three different host plant families, Amaranthaceae, Caryophyllaceae, and Polygonaceae, suggesting that they may have speciated following at least two recent inter-family host shifts, rather than contemporary cospeciation with the host plants. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Thines M.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Thines M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Thines M.,Integrative Fungal Research Cluster IPF | Choi Y.-J.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Phytopathology | Year: 2016

Downy mildews are a notorious group of oomycete plant pathogens, causing high economic losses in various crops and ornamentals. The most species-rich genus of oomycetes is the genus Peronospora. This review provides a wide overview of these pathogens, ranging from macro- and micro-evolutionary patterns, their biodiversity and ecology to short overviews for the currently economically most important pathogens and potential emerging diseases. In this overview, the taxonomy of economically relevant species is also discussed, as the application of the correct names and species concepts is a prerequisite for effective quarantine regulations and phytosanitary measures. © 2016 The American Phytopathological Society.

Splivallo R.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Splivallo R.,Integrative Fungal Research Cluster IPF | Ebeler S.E.,University of California at Davis
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology | Year: 2015

Truffles are symbiotic fungi in high demand for the aroma of their fruiting bodies which are colonized by a diverse microbial flora. Specific sulfur containing volatiles (thiophene derivatives) characteristic of the white truffle Tuber borchii were recently shown to be derived from the bacterial community inhabiting truffle fruiting bodies. Our aim here was to investigate whether thiophene derivatives contributed to the human-sensed aroma of T. borchii. Furthermore, we questioned whether the concentration of thiophene volatiles was affected by freezing or whether it differed in truffles from distinct geographical origins. Gas chromatography–olfactometry (GC-O) analysis revealed that thiophene derivatives were major contributors to the aroma of T. borchii. Of four thiophene derivatives detected in this study, 3-methyl-4,5-dihydrothiophene was the most important one in terms of its contribution to the overall aroma. The relative concentration of thiophene derivatives was unaffected by freezing; however, it differed in samples collected in distinct geographical locations (Italy versus New Zealand). The causes of this variability might be differences in storage conditions and/or in bacterial community composition of the fruiting bodies; however, further work is needed to confirm these hypotheses. Overall, our results demonstrate that thiophene derivatives are major contributors to the human-sensed aroma of T. borchii. © 2015, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Thines M.,Integrative Fungal Research Cluster IPF | Thines M.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Thines M.,Goethe University Frankfurt
European Journal of Plant Pathology | Year: 2014

Oomycetes have colonised all continents and oceans in a great variety of habitats and are arguably one of the most successful eukaryotic lineages. This is contrasted by the limited knowledge available for this group in various fields in comparison to other ubiquitous eukaryotes, such as unikont fungi, animals or plants. In this review an overview is given on the evolution and diversification of the oomycetes, with focus on the plant parasitic lineages and aspects of wild pathosystems. © 2014 KNPV.

Keim J.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Keim J.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Mishra B.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Mishra B.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | And 7 more authors.
Fungal Diversity | Year: 2014

Root-associated fungi, with the focus on endophytic species, were isolated from healthy Arabidopsis thaliana and Microthlaspi perfoliatum plants collected at different locations in Germany. A large number of fungal taxa were discovered with a small-scale approach. This provides additional evidence that root-associated and endophytic fungi are common in Brassicaceae. The most prevalent genera associated with A. thaliana roots were Trichoderma and Fusarium, while the roots of M. perfoliatum were dominated by different species of Fusarium and Penicillium. Differences in species composition and richness might be due to preferences and life-cycle of the two plant species. Strains of endophyte species that did not have closely related species in GenBank searches and those already known as root endophytes were chosen for preliminary co-cultivation experiments using germinating host plants on agar medium to observe effects on plant growth and health. Under these conditions several fungal isolates had an adverse effect on plant growth and health, especially on Arabidopsis thaliana. Some isolates did not adversely affect biomass during initial plant growth, while they altered the shoot-root ratio in favour of the shoot, especially in Microthlaspi perfoliatum. These strains are promising candidates for future research on endophytes as they might have some effects in Brassicaceae that are similar to mycorrhizal fungi. They are also promising candidates for investigating interactions with their host plants. © 2014 Mushroom Research Foundation.

Hemetsberger C.,Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology | Hemetsberger C.,TU Munich | Mueller A.N.,Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology | Matei A.,Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology | And 15 more authors.
New Phytologist | Year: 2015

The secreted fungal effector Pep1 is essential for penetration of the host epidermis and establishment of biotrophy in the Ustilago maydis-maize pathosystem. Previously, Pep1 was found to be an inhibitor of apoplastic plant peroxidases, which suppresses the oxidative burst, a primary immune response of the host plant and enables fungal colonization. To investigate the conservation of Pep1 in other pathogens, genomes of related smut species were screened for pep1 orthologues. Pep1 proteins were produced in Escherichia coli for functional assays. The biological function of Pep1 was tested by heterologous expression in U. maydis and Hordeum vulgare. Pep1 orthologues revealed a remarkable degree of sequence conservation, indicating that this effector might play a fundamental role in virulence of biotrophic smut fungi. Pep1 function and its role in virulence are conserved in different pathogenic fungi, even across the monocot-dicot border of host plants. The findings described in this study classify Pep1 as a phylogenetically conserved fungal core effector. Furthermore, we documented the influence of Pep1 on the disease caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei which is a non-smut-related pathosystem. © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

Molinier V.,Swiss Federal Institute of forest | Molinier V.,CNRS Agroecology Lab | Murat C.,University of Lorraine | Murat C.,French National Institute for Agricultural Research | And 4 more authors.
Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2015

Truffles are symbiotic fungi in high demand by food connoisseurs. Improving yield and product quality requires a better understanding of truffle genetics and aroma biosynthesis. One aim here was to investigate the diversity and fine-scale spatial genetic structure of the Burgundy truffle Tuber aestivum. The second aim was to assess how genetic structuring along with fruiting body maturation and geographical origin influenced single constituents of truffle aroma. A total of 39 Burgundy truffles collected in two orchards were characterized in terms of aroma profile (SPME-GC/MS) and genotype (microsatellites). A moderate genetic differentiation was observed between the populations of the two orchards. An important seasonal and spatial genetic structuring was detected. Within one orchard, individuals belonging to the same genet were generally collected during a single season and in the close vicinity from each other. Maximum genet size nevertheless ranged from 46 to 92m. Geographical origin or maturity only had minor effects on aroma profiles but genetic structuring, specifically clonal identity, had a pronounced influence on the concentrations of C8- and C4-VOCs. Our results highlight a high seasonal genetic turnover and indicate that the aroma of Burgundy truffle is influenced by the identity of single clones/genets. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

PubMed | Integrative Fungal Research Cluster IPF, Pamukkale University, Goethe University Frankfurt and Biodiversity and Climate Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Environmental microbiology | Year: 2016

Root endophytic fungi are found in a great variety of plants and ecosystems, but the ecological drivers of their biogeographic distribution are poorly understood. Here, we investigate the occurrence of root endophytes in the non-mycorrhizal plant genus Microthlaspi, and the effect of environmental factors and geographic distance in structuring their communities at a continental scale. We sampled 52 plant populations across the northern Mediterranean and central Europe and used a cultivation approach to study their endophytic communities. Cultivation of roots yielded 2601 isolates, which were grouped into 296 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) by internal transcribed spacer sequencing of 1998 representative colonies. Climatic and spatial factors were the best descriptors of the structure of endophytic communities, outweighing soil characteristics, host genotype and geographical distance. OTU richness was negatively affected by precipitation, and the composition of communities followed latitudinal gradients of precipitation and temperature. Only six widespread OTUs belonging to the orders Pleosporales, Hypocreales and Helotiales represented about 50% of all isolates. Assessments of their individual distribution revealed particular ecological preferences or a cosmopolitan occurrence. Our findings support a strong influence of the local environment in determining root endophytic communities, and show a different niche occupancy by individual endophytes.

Kitner M.,Palacky University | Lebeda A.,Palacky University | Sharma R.,Biodiversity And Climate Research Center Bik The Senckenberg Gesellschaft For Naturforschung | Sharma R.,Integrative Fungal Research Cluster IPF | And 12 more authors.
Plant Pathology | Year: 2015

Pseudoperonospora cubensis is an oomycete pathogen causing downy mildew disease on a variety of Cucurbitaceae, and has recently re-emerged as a destructive disease on crops in this family, mainly on cucumber and squash. Multilocus sequence analysis (MLSA) of four mitochondrial and two nuclear DNA regions was used to detect changes in the genetic structure of P. cubensis populations occurring in the Czech Republic that might be associated with recently reported shifts in virulence. The analysed sample set contains 67 P. cubensis isolates collected from 1995 to 2012 in the Czech Republic and some other European countries. Sequence analyses revealed differences and changes in the genetic backgrounds of P. cubensis isolates. While all isolates sampled before 2009 exhibited the genotype of the subspecies of Clade II and were collected from cucumber, all samples collected from other hosts belonged to Clade I (P. cubensis sensu stricto) or were sampled from 2009 onwards. In addition, 67·16% of all post-2009 isolates from Clade II had two heterozygous positions in their nrITS sequence, which suggests sexual reproduction and/or a mutational origin. Thus, the results indicate that, apart from the rise in prevalence of Clade I, the change in the genetic structure of P. cubensis populations may be linked with a hybridization or, less likely, a mutation event that rendered strains able to infect a broader spectrum of host species. © 2015 British Society for Plant Pathology.

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