The Fusarium graminearum Genome Reveals a Link Between Localized Polymorphism and Pathogen Specialization
We sequenced and annotated the genome of the filamentous fungus Fusarium graminearum, a major pathogen of cultivated cereals. Very few repetitive sequences were detected, and the process of repeat-induced point mutation, in which duplicated sequences are subject to extensive mutation, may partially account for the reduced repeat content and apparent low number of paralogous (ancestrally duplicated) genes. A second strain of F. graminearum contained more than 10,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms, which were frequently located near telomeres and within other discrete chromosomal segments. Many highly polymorphic regions contained sets of genes implicated in plant-fungus interactions and were unusually divergent, with higher rates of recombination. These regions of genome innovation may result from selection due to interactions of F. graminearum with its plant hosts.