ResearchPad - oomycetes https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Mitochondrial genome sequence of <i>Phytophthora sansomeana</i> and comparative analysis of <i>Phytophthora</i> mitochondrial genomes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14567 Phytophthora sansomeana infects soybean and causes root rot. It was recently separated from the species complex P. megasperma sensu lato. In this study, we sequenced and annotated its complete mitochondrial genome and compared it to that of nine other Phytophthora species. The genome was assembled into a circular molecule of 39,618 bp with a 22.03% G+C content. Forty-two protein coding genes, 25 tRNA genes and two rRNA genes were annotated in this genome. The protein coding genes include 14 genes in the respiratory complexes, four ATP synthase genes, 16 ribosomal proteins genes, a tatC translocase gene, six conserved ORFs and a unique orf402. The tRNA genes encode tRNAs for 19 amino acids. Comparison among mitochondrial genomes of 10 Phytophthora species revealed three inversions, each covering multiple genes. These genomes were conserved in gene content with few exceptions. A 3' truncated atp9 gene was found in P. nicotianae. All 10 Phytophthora species, as well as other oomycetes and stramenopiles, lacked tRNA genes for threonine in their mitochondria. Phylogenomic analysis using the mitochondrial genomes supported or enhanced previous findings of the phylogeny of Phytophthora spp.

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<![CDATA[Genome reconstruction of the non-culturable spinach downy mildew <i>Peronospora effusa</i> by metagenome filtering]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_13800 Peronospora effusa (previously known as P. farinosa f. sp. spinaciae, and here referred to as Pfs) is an obligate biotrophic oomycete that causes downy mildew on spinach (Spinacia oleracea). To combat this destructive many disease resistant cultivars have been bred and used. However, new Pfs races rapidly break the employed resistance genes. To get insight into the gene repertoire of Pfs and identify infection-related genes, the genome of the first reference race, Pfs1, was sequenced, assembled, and annotated. Due to the obligate biotrophic nature of this pathogen, material for DNA isolation can only be collected from infected spinach leaves that, however, also contain many other microorganisms. The obtained sequences can, therefore, be considered a metagenome. To filter and obtain Pfs sequences we utilized the CAT tool to taxonomically annotate ORFs residing on long sequences of a genome pre-assembly. This study is the first to show that CAT filtering performs well on eukaryotic contigs. Based on the taxonomy, determined on multiple ORFs, contaminating long sequences and corresponding reads were removed from the metagenome. Filtered reads were re-assembled to provide a clean and improved Pfs genome sequence of 32.4 Mbp consisting of 8,635 scaffolds. Transcript sequencing of a range of infection time points aided the prediction of a total of 13,277 gene models, including 99 RxLR(-like) effector, and 14 putative Crinkler genes. Comparative analysis identified common features in the predicted secretomes of different obligate biotrophic oomycetes, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. Their secretomes are generally smaller, compared to hemi-biotrophic and necrotrophic oomycete species. We observe a reduction in proteins involved in cell wall degradation, in Nep1-like proteins (NLPs), proteins with PAN/apple domains, and host translocated effectors. The genome of Pfs1 will be instrumental in studying downy mildew virulence and for understanding the molecular adaptations by which new isolates break spinach resistance.

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<![CDATA[Reticulate evolution in eukaryotes: Origin and evolution of the nitrate assimilation pathway]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c784fefd5eed0c484007967

Genes and genomes can evolve through interchanging genetic material, this leading to reticular evolutionary patterns. However, the importance of reticulate evolution in eukaryotes, and in particular of horizontal gene transfer (HGT), remains controversial. Given that metabolic pathways with taxonomically-patchy distributions can be indicative of HGT events, the eukaryotic nitrate assimilation pathway is an ideal object of investigation, as previous results revealed a patchy distribution and suggested that the nitrate assimilation cluster of dikaryotic fungi (Opisthokonta) could have been originated and transferred from a lineage leading to Oomycota (Stramenopiles). We studied the origin and evolution of this pathway through both multi-scale bioinformatic and experimental approaches. Our taxon-rich genomic screening shows that nitrate assimilation is present in more lineages than previously reported, although being restricted to autotrophs and osmotrophs. The phylogenies indicate a pervasive role of HGT, with three bacterial transfers contributing to the pathway origin, and at least seven well-supported transfers between eukaryotes. In particular, we propose a distinct and more complex HGT path between Opisthokonta and Stramenopiles than the one previously suggested, involving at least two transfers of a nitrate assimilation gene cluster. We also found that gene fusion played an essential role in this evolutionary history, underlying the origin of the canonical eukaryotic nitrate reductase, and of a chimeric nitrate reductase in Ichthyosporea (Opisthokonta). We show that the ichthyosporean pathway, including this novel nitrate reductase, is physiologically active and transcriptionally co-regulated, responding to different nitrogen sources; similarly to distant eukaryotes with independent HGT-acquisitions of the pathway. This indicates that this pattern of transcriptional control evolved convergently in eukaryotes, favoring the proper integration of the pathway in the metabolic landscape. Our results highlight the importance of reticulate evolution in eukaryotes, by showing the crucial contribution of HGT and gene fusion in the evolutionary history of the nitrate assimilation pathway.

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<![CDATA[Effect of soil fumigants on degradation of abamectin and their combination synergistic effect to root-knot nematode]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b9ea463d7e1564977036

Background

Root-knot nematode (Meloidogyne spp., RKN) causes a disease that significantly reduces the yield of greenhouse cucumber crops year after year. Chemical control based on a single pesticide is now unreliable mainly due to pest resistance. Fumigant and non-fumigant pesticide combinations can potentially result in effective and economic RKN control.

Results

Combining the insecticide abamectin (ABM) with fumigants dazomet (DZ) or chloropicrin (CP) significantly extended the half-life of ABM by an average of about 1.68 and 1.56 times respectively in laboratory trials, and by an average of about 2.02 and 1.69 times respectively in greenhouse trials. Laboratory experiments indicated that all the low rate ABM combination treatments controlled RKN through a synergistic effect. ABM diffused into the nematode epidermis more rapidly when ABM was combined with DZ and CP, giving effective nematode control and an increase cucumber total yield, compared to the use of these products alone. ABM combined with CP or DZ produced significantly higher total cucumber yield than when these products were used alone.

Conclusions

A low concentration of ABM combined with DZ in preference to CP would be an economic and practical way to control nematode and soilborne fungi in a greenhouse producing cucumbers.

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<![CDATA[Use of the Endophytic Fungus Daldinia cf. concentrica and Its Volatiles as Bio-Control Agents]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da0eab0ee8fa60b78850

Endophytic fungi are organisms that spend most of their life cycle within plant tissues without causing any visible damage to the host plant. Many endophytes were found to secrete specialized metabolites and/or emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which may be biologically active and assist fungal survival inside the plant as well as benefit their hosts. We report on the isolation and characterization of a VOCs-emitting endophytic fungus, isolated from an olive tree (Olea europaea L.) growing in Israel; the isolate was identified as Daldinia cf. concentrica. We found that the emitted VOCs were active against various fungi from diverse phyla. Results from postharvest experiments demonstrated that D. cf. concentrica prevented development of molds on organic dried fruits, and eliminated Aspergillus niger infection in peanuts. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry analysis of the volatiles led to identification of 27 VOCs. On the basis of these VOCs we prepared two mixtures that displayed a broad spectrum of antifungal activity. In postharvest experiments these mixtures prevented development of molds on wheat grains, and fully eliminated A. niger infection in peanuts. In light of these findings, we suggest use of D. cf. concentrica and/or its volatiles as an alternative approach to controlling phytopathogenic fungi in the food industry and in agriculture.

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<![CDATA[Escaping Host Immunity: New Tricks for Plant Pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9faab0ee8fa60b719b3 ]]> <![CDATA[Gene Expression and Silencing Studies in Phytophthora infestans Reveal Infection-Specific Nutrient Transporters and a Role for the Nitrate Reductase Pathway in Plant Pathogenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9d5ab0ee8fa60b65af8

To help learn how phytopathogens feed from their hosts, genes for nutrient transporters from the hemibiotrophic potato and tomato pest Phytophthora infestans were annotated. This identified 453 genes from 19 families. Comparisons with a necrotrophic oomycete, Pythium ultimum var. ultimum, and a hemibiotrophic fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae, revealed diversity in the size of some families although a similar fraction of genes encoded transporters. RNA-seq of infected potato tubers, tomato leaves, and several artificial media revealed that 56 and 207 transporters from P. infestans were significantly up- or down-regulated, respectively, during early infection timepoints of leaves or tubers versus media. About 17 were up-regulated >4-fold in both leaves and tubers compared to media and expressed primarily in the biotrophic stage. The transcription pattern of many genes was host-organ specific. For example, the mRNA level of a nitrate transporter (NRT) was about 100-fold higher during mid-infection in leaves, which are nitrate-rich, than in tubers and three types of artificial media, which are nitrate-poor. The NRT gene is physically linked with genes encoding nitrate reductase (NR) and nitrite reductase (NiR), which mobilize nitrate into ammonium and amino acids. All three genes were coregulated. For example, the three genes were expressed primarily at mid-stage infection timepoints in both potato and tomato leaves, but showed little expression in potato tubers. Transformants down-regulated for all three genes were generated by DNA-directed RNAi, with silencing spreading from the NR target to the flanking NRT and NiR genes. The silenced strains were nonpathogenic on leaves but colonized tubers. We propose that the nitrate assimilation genes play roles both in obtaining nitrogen for amino acid biosynthesis and protecting P. infestans from natural or fertilization-induced nitrate and nitrite toxicity.

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<![CDATA[Functional Analysis of Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis RXLR Effectors]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da87ab0ee8fa60b9c84d

The biotrophic plant pathogen Hyaloperonospora arabidopsidis produces a set of putative effector proteins that contain the conserved RXLR motif. For most of these RXLR proteins the role during infection is unknown. Thirteen RXLR proteins from H. arabidopsidis strain Waco9 were analyzed for sequence similarities and tested for a role in virulence. The thirteen RXLR proteins displayed conserved N-termini and this N-terminal conservation was also found in the 134 predicted RXLR genes from the genome of H. arabidopsidis strain Emoy2. To investigate the effects of single RXLR effector proteins on plant defense responses, thirteen H. arabidopsidis Waco9 RXLR genes were expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana. Subsequently, these plants were screened for altered susceptibility to the oomycetes H. arabidopsidis and Phytophthora capsici, and the bacterial pathogen Pseudomonas syringae. Additionally, the effect of the RXLR proteins on flg22-triggered basal immune responses was assessed. Multifactorial analysis of results collated from all experiments revealed that, except for RXLR20, all RXLR effector proteins tested affected plant immunity. For RXLR9 this was confirmed using a P. syringae ΔCEL-mediated effector delivery system. Together, the results show that many H. arabidopsidis RXLR effectors have small effects on the plant immune response, suggesting that suppression of host immunity by this biotrophic pathogen is likely to be caused by the combined actions of effectors.

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<![CDATA[The antimicrobial volatile power of the rhizospheric isolate Pseudomonas donghuensis P482]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db52ab0ee8fa60bdc7bc

Soil and rhizosphere bacteria produce an array of secondary metabolites including a wide range of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These compounds play an important role in the long-distance interactions and communication between (micro)organisms. Furthermore, bacterial VOCs are involved in plant pathogens inhibition and induction of soil fungistasis and suppressivenes. In the present study, we analysed the volatile blend emitted by the rhizospheric isolate Pseudomonas donghuensis P482 and evaluated the volatile effect on the plant pathogenic fungi and bacteria as well as one oomycete. Moreover, we investigated the role of the GacS/GacA system on VOCs production in P. donghuensis P482. The results obtained demonstrated that VOCs emitted by P. donghuensis P482 have strong antifungal and antioomycete, but not antibacterial activity. The production of certain volatiles such as dimethyl sulfide, S-methyl thioacetate, methyl thiocyanate, dimethyl trisulfide, 1-undecan and HCN is depended on the GacS/GacA two-component regulatory system. Apparently, these compounds play an important role in the pathogens suppression as the gacA mutant entirely lost the ability to inhibit via volatiles the growth of tested plant pathogens.

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<![CDATA[Two previously unknown Phytophthora species associated with brown rot of Pomelo (Citrus grandis) fruits in Vietnam]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc2ac

Two distinct Phytophthora taxa were found to be associated with brown rot of pomelo (Citrus grandis), a new disease of this ancestral Citrus species, in the Vinh Long province, Mekong River Delta area, southern Vietnam. On the basis of morphological characters and using the ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region of the rDNA and the cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI) as barcode genes, one of the two taxa was provisionally named as Phytophthora sp. prodigiosa, being closely related to but distinct from P. insolita, a species in Phytophthora Clade 9, while the other one, was closely related to but distinct from the Clade 2 species P. meadii and was informally designated as Phytophthora sp. mekongensis. Isolates of P. sp. prodigiosa and P. sp. mekongensis were also obtained from necrotic fibrous roots of Volkamer lemon (C. volkameriana) rootstocks grafted with ‘King’ mandarin (Citrus nobilis) and from trees of pomelo, respectively, in other provinces of the Mekong River Delta, indicating a widespread occurrence of both Phytophthora species in this citrus-growing area. Koch’s postulates were fulfilled via pathogenicity tests on fruits of various Citrus species, including pomelo, grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi), sweet orange (Citrus x sinensis) and bergamot (Citrus x bergamia) as well as on the rootstock of 2-year-old trees of pomelo and sweet orange on ‘Carrizo’ citrange (C. sinensis ‘Washington Navel’ x Poncirus trifoliata). This is the first report of a Phytophthora species from Clade 2 other than P. citricola and P. citrophthora as causal agent of fruit brown rot of Citrus worldwide and the first report of P. insolita complex in Vietnam. Results indicate that likely Vietnam is still an unexplored reservoir of Phytophthora diversity.

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<![CDATA[Mapping of a Novel Race Specific Resistance Gene to Phytophthora Root Rot of Pepper (Capsicum annuum) Using Bulked Segregant Analysis Combined with Specific Length Amplified Fragment Sequencing Strategy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da99ab0ee8fa60ba321b

Phytophthora root rot caused by Phytophthora capsici (P. capsici) is a serious limitation to pepper production in Southern China, with high temperature and humidity. Mapping PRR resistance genes can provide linked DNA markers for breeding PRR resistant varieties by molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS). Two BC1 populations and an F2 population derived from a cross between P. capsici-resistant accession, Criollo de Morelos 334 (CM334) and P. capsici-susceptible accession, New Mexico Capsicum Accession 10399 (NMCA10399) were used to investigate the genetic characteristics of PRR resistance. PRR resistance to isolate Byl4 (race 3) was controlled by a single dominant gene, PhR10, that was mapped to an interval of 16.39Mb at the end of the long arm of chromosome 10. Integration of bulked segregant analysis (BSA) and Specific Length Amplified Fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) provided an efficient genetic mapping strategy. Ten polymorphic Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers were found within this region and used to screen the genotypes of 636 BC1 plants, delimiting PhR10 to a 2.57 Mb interval between markers P52-11-21 (1.5 cM away) and P52-11-41 (1.1 cM). A total of 163 genes were annotated within this region and 31 were predicted to be associated with disease resistance. PhR10 is a novel race specific gene for PRR, and this paper describes linked SSR markers suitable for marker-assisted selection of PRR resistant varieties, also laying a foundation for cloning the resistance gene.

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<![CDATA[Nudix Effectors: A Common Weapon in the Arsenal of Plant Pathogens]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4dab0ee8fa60b8d2a5 ]]> <![CDATA[Plant-Plant-Microbe Mechanisms Involved in Soil-Borne Disease Suppression on a Maize and Pepper Intercropping System]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da4aab0ee8fa60b8ca32

Background

Intercropping systems could increase crop diversity and avoid vulnerability to biotic stresses. Most studies have shown that intercropping can provide relief to crops against wind-dispersed pathogens. However, there was limited data on how the practice of intercropping help crops against soil-borne Phytophthora disease.

Principal Findings

Compared to pepper monoculture, a large scale intercropping study of maize grown between pepper rows reduced disease levels of the soil-borne pepper Phytophthora blight. These reduced disease levels of Phytophthora in the intercropping system were correlated with the ability of maize plants to form a “root wall” that restricted the movement of Phytophthora capsici across rows. Experimentally, it was found that maize roots attracted the zoospores of P. capsici and then inhibited their growth. When maize plants were grown in close proximity to each other, the roots produced and secreted larger quantities of 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-2H-1,4-benzoxazin-3(4H)-one (DIMBOA) and 6-methoxy-2-benzoxazolinone (MBOA). Furthermore, MBOA, benzothiazole (BZO), and 2-(methylthio)-benzothiazole (MBZO) were identified in root exudates of maize and showed antimicrobial activity against P. capsici.

Conclusions

Maize could form a “root wall” to restrict the spread of P. capsici across rows in maize and pepper intercropping systems. Antimicrobe compounds secreted by maize root were one of the factors that resulted in the inhibition of P. capsici. These results provide new insights into plant-plant-microbe mechanisms involved in intercropping systems.

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<![CDATA[Comparative analysis of sterol acquisition in the oomycetes Saprolegnia parasitica and Phytophthora infestans]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db51ab0ee8fa60bdc312

The oomycete class includes pathogens of animals and plants which are responsible for some of the most significant global losses in agriculture and aquaculture. There is a need to replace traditional chemical means of controlling oomycete growth with more targeted approaches, and the inhibition of sterol synthesis is one promising area. To better direct these efforts, we have studied sterol acquisition in two model organisms: the sterol-autotrophic Saprolegnia parasitica, and the sterol-heterotrophic Phytophthora infestans. We first present a comprehensive reconstruction of a likely sterol synthesis pathway for S. parasitica, causative agent of the disease saprolegniasis in fish. This pathway shows multiple potential routes of sterol synthesis, and draws on several avenues of new evidence: bioinformatic mining for genes with sterol-related functions, expression analysis of these genes, and analysis of the sterol profiles in mycelium grown in different media. Additionally, we explore the extent to which P. infestans, which causes the late blight in potato, can modify exogenously provided sterols. We consider whether the two very different approaches to sterol acquisition taken by these pathogens represent any specific survival advantages or potential drug targets.

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<![CDATA[Effector Polymorphisms of the Sunflower Downy Mildew Pathogen Plasmopara halstedii and Their Use to Identify Pathotypes from Field Isolates]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db46ab0ee8fa60bd8b2e

The obligate biotroph oomycete Plasmopara halstedii causes downy mildew on sunflower crop, Helianthus annuus. The breakdown of several Pl resistance genes used in sunflower hybrids over the last 25 years came along with the appearance of new Pl. halstedii isolates showing modified virulence profiles. In oomycetes, two classes of effector proteins, key players of pathogen virulence, are translocated into the host: RXLR and CRN effectors. We identified 54 putative CRN or RXLR effector genes from transcriptomic data and analyzed their genetic diversity in seven Pl. halstedii pathotypes representative of the species variability. Pl. halstedii effector genes were on average more polymorphic at both the nucleic and protein levels than random non-effector genes, suggesting a potential adaptive dynamics of pathogen virulence over the last 25 years. Twenty-two KASP (Competitive Allele Specific PCR) markers designed on polymorphic effector genes were genotyped on 35 isolates belonging to 14 Pl. halstedii pathotypes. Polymorphism analysis based on eight KASP markers aims at proposing a determination key suitable to classify the eight multi-isolate pathotypes into six groups. This is the first report of a molecular marker set able to discriminate Pl. halstedii pathotypes based on the polymorphism of pathogenicity effectors. Compared to phenotypic tests handling living spores used until now to discriminate Pl. halstedii pathotypes, this set of molecular markers constitutes a first step in faster pathotype diagnosis of Pl. halstedii isolates. Hence, emerging sunflower downy mildew isolates could be more rapidly characterized and thus, assessment of plant resistance breakdown under field conditions should be improved.

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<![CDATA[Microbial Partnerships of Pathogenic Oomycetes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db54ab0ee8fa60bdd04f ]]> <![CDATA[Microbial Hub Taxa Link Host and Abiotic Factors to Plant Microbiome Variation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db06ab0ee8fa60bc890a

Plant-associated microorganisms have been shown to critically affect host physiology and performance, suggesting that evolution and ecology of plants and animals can only be understood in a holobiont (host and its associated organisms) context. Host-associated microbial community structures are affected by abiotic and host factors, and increased attention is given to the role of the microbiome in interactions such as pathogen inhibition. However, little is known about how these factors act on the microbial community, and especially what role microbe–microbe interaction dynamics play. We have begun to address this knowledge gap for phyllosphere microbiomes of plants by simultaneously studying three major groups of Arabidopsis thaliana symbionts (bacteria, fungi and oomycetes) using a systems biology approach. We evaluated multiple potential factors of microbial community control: we sampled various wild A. thaliana populations at different times, performed field plantings with different host genotypes, and implemented successive host colonization experiments under lab conditions where abiotic factors, host genotype, and pathogen colonization was manipulated. Our results indicate that both abiotic factors and host genotype interact to affect plant colonization by all three groups of microbes. Considering microbe–microbe interactions, however, uncovered a network of interkingdom interactions with significant contributions to community structure. As in other scale-free networks, a small number of taxa, which we call microbial “hubs,” are strongly interconnected and have a severe effect on communities. By documenting these microbe–microbe interactions, we uncover an important mechanism explaining how abiotic factors and host genotypic signatures control microbial communities. In short, they act directly on “hub” microbes, which, via microbe–microbe interactions, transmit the effects to the microbial community. We analyzed two “hub” microbes (the obligate biotrophic oomycete pathogen Albugo and the basidiomycete yeast fungus Dioszegia) more closely. Albugo had strong effects on epiphytic and endophytic bacterial colonization. Specifically, alpha diversity decreased and beta diversity stabilized in the presence of Albugo infection, whereas they otherwise varied between plants. Dioszegia, on the other hand, provided evidence for direct hub interaction with phyllosphere bacteria. The identification of microbial “hubs” and their importance in phyllosphere microbiome structuring has crucial implications for plant–pathogen and microbe–microbe research and opens new entry points for ecosystem management and future targeted biocontrol. The revelation that effects can cascade through communities via “hub” microbes is important to understand community structure perturbations in parallel fields including human microbiomes and bioprocesses. In particular, parallels to human microbiome “keystone” pathogens and microbes open new avenues of interdisciplinary research that promise to better our understanding of functions of host-associated microbiomes.

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<![CDATA[An Ephemeral Sexual Population of Phytophthora infestans in the Northeastern United States and Canada]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db39ab0ee8fa60bd4039

Phytophthora infestans, the causal agent of late blight disease, has been reported in North America since the mid-nineteenth century. In the United States the lack of or very limited sexual reproduction has resulted in largely clonal populations of P. infestans. In 2010 and 2011, but not in 2012 or 2013, 20 rare and diverse genotypes of P. infestans were detected in a region that centered around central New York State. The ratio of A1 to A2 mating types among these genotypes was close to the 50∶50 ratio expected for sexual recombination. These genotypes were diverse at the glucose-6-phosphate isomerase locus, differed in their microsatellite profiles, showed different banding patterns in a restriction fragment length polymorphism assay using a moderately repetitive and highly polymorphic probe (RG57), were polymorphic for four different nuclear genes and differed in their sensitivity to the systemic fungicide mefenoxam. The null hypothesis of linkage equilibrium was not rejected, which suggests the population could be sexual. These new genotypes were monomorphic in their mitochondrial haplotype that was the same as US-22. Through parentage exclusion testing using microsatellite data and sequences of four nuclear genes, recent dominant lineages US-8, US-11, US-23, and US-24 were excluded as possible parents for these genotypes. Further analyses indicated that US-22 could not be eliminated as a possible parent for 14 of the 20 genotypes. We conclude that US-22 could be a parent of some, but not all, of the new genotypes found in 2010 and 2011. There were at least two other parents for this population and the genotypic characteristics of the other parents were identified.

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<![CDATA[Incorporating Field Studies into Species Distribution and Climate Change Modelling: A Case Study of the Koomal Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus (Phalangeridae)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac9ab0ee8fa60bb3acb

Species distribution models (SDMs) are an effective way of predicting the potential distribution of species and their response to environmental change. Most SDMs apply presence data to a relatively generic set of predictive variables such as climate. However, this weakens the modelling process by overlooking the responses to more cryptic predictive variables. In this paper we demonstrate a means by which data gathered from an intensive animal trapping study can be used to enhance SDMs by combining field data with bioclimatic modelling techniques to determine the future potential distribution for the koomal (Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus). The koomal is a geographically isolated subspecies of the common brushtail possum, endemic to south-western Australia. Since European settlement this taxon has undergone a significant reduction in distribution due to its vulnerability to habitat fragmentation, introduced predators and tree/shrub dieback caused by a virulent group of plant pathogens of the genus Phytophthora. An intensive field study found: 1) the home range for the koomal rarely exceeded 1 km in in length at its widest point; 2) areas heavily infested with dieback were not occupied; 3) gap crossing between patches (>400 m) was common behaviour; 4) koomal presence was linked to the extent of suitable vegetation; and 5) where the needs of koomal were met, populations in fragments were demographically similar to those found in contiguous landscapes. We used this information to resolve a more accurate SDM for the koomal than that created from bioclimatic data alone. Specifically, we refined spatial coverages of remnant vegetation and dieback, to develop a set of variables that we combined with selected bioclimatic variables to construct models. We conclude that the utility value of an SDM can be enhanced and given greater resolution by identifying variables that reflect observed, species-specific responses to landscape parameters and incorporating these responses into the model.

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<![CDATA[A novel, multiplexed, probe-based quantitative PCR assay for the soybean root- and stem-rot pathogen, Phytophthora sojae, utilizes its transposable element]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db59ab0ee8fa60bdf0da

Phytophthora root rot of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] is caused by the oomycete Phytophthora sojae (Kaufm. & Gerd.). P. sojae has a narrow host range, consisting primarily of soybean, and it is a serious pathogen worldwide. It exists in root and stem tissues as mycelium, wherein it can form oospores which subsequently germinate to release motile, infectious zoospores. Molecular assays detecting DNA of P. sojae are useful in disease diagnostics, and for determining the presence of the organism in host tissues, soils, and runoff or ponded water from potentially infested fields. Such assays as published have utilized ITS sequences from the nuclear ribosomal RNA genes in conventional PCR or dye-binding quantitative PCR (Q-PCR) but are not amenable to multiplexing, and some of these assays did not utilize control strategies for type I or type II errors. In this study, we describe primers and a bifunctional probe with specificity to a gypsy-like retroelement in the P. sojae genome to create a fluorogenic 5’-exonuclease linear hydrolysis assay, with a multiplexed internal control reaction detecting an exogenous target to validate negative calls, and with uracil-deglycosylase-mediated protection against carryover contamination. The assay specifically detected 13 different P. sojae isolates, and excluded 17 other Phytophthora species along with 20 non-Phytophthora fungal and oomycete species pathogenic on soybean. A diagnostic limit of detection of 34 fg total P. sojae DNA was observed in serial dilutions, equivalent to 0.3 genome, and a practical detection sensitivity of four zoospores per sample was achieved, despite losses during DNA extraction.

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