ISCLB 2024

Lead Talk

Exploring the genomic landscape of rapid adaptation in the fungal wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici

Cécile Lorrain

on  Sa, 11:05 ! Livein  HG D1.1 (conference room)for  30min

Plant-pathogenic microbes, including the wheat fungal pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici, need to adapt to their host environment. The mechanisms underlying host adaptation of Z. tritici are still largely unknown. Phenotyping is the main limitation for large-scale GWAS in plant pathogens of several hundreds of strains in multiple hosts. Using natural infection data for GWAS, we reveal from 2 to 13 host-specific candidate per cultivar, including the effector Avr3D1 highlighting the utility of GWAS in unraveling host-specific adaptation mechanisms. We confirm the vast reservoir of genetic variability found in very local populations as well as description of the complex and polygenic genetic basis of Z. tritici-wheat interaction, acting as a driving force for evolvability. Growing evidence supports that, transposable elements impact on genome evolution and evolvability. TE activity fosters genetic variability of fungal pathogens directly through insertion within coding or regulatory regions and indirectly by inducing epigenetic modifications. TE-driven modifications can significantly affect fungal pathogenicity by targeting genes involved in virulence. We aim to unravel how the coevolution between transposable elements and fungal genomes has shaped genome evolution, architecture, and adaptation in Z. tritici. From host-specific pathogenicity-related genes to TE-driven genome evolution, our research unveils the multifaceted genetic landscape underpinning fungal pathogen adaptation.

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