6 February 2023

Combined pangenomics and transcriptomics reveals core and redundant virulence processes in a rapidly evolving fungal plant pathogen

Chen H, King R, Smith D, Bayon C, Ashfield T, Torriani S, Kanyuka K, Hammond-Kosack K, Bieri S, Rudd J - BMC Biology, 2023


Studying genomic variation in rapidly evolving pathogens potentially enables identification of genes supporting their “core biology”, being present, functional and expressed by all strains or “flexible biology”, varying between strains. Genes supporting flexible biology may be considered to be “accessory”, whilst the “core” gene set is likely to be important for common features of a pathogen species biology, including virulence on all host genotypes. The wheat-pathogenic fungus Zymoseptoria tritici represents one of the most rapidly evolving threats to global food security and was the focus of this study.

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