Evolution of the wheat blast fungus through functional losses in a host specificity determinant

Yoshihiro Inoue, Trinh T.P. Vy, Kentaro Yoshida, Hokuto Asano, Chikako Mitsuoka, Soichiro Asuke, Vu L. Anh, Christian J.R. Cumagun, Izumi Chuma, Ryohei Terauchi, Kenji Kato, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara Valent, Mark Farman, Yukio Tosa

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142 Scopus citations


Wheat blast first emerged in Brazil in the mid-1980s and has recently caused heavy crop losses in Asia. Here we show how this devastating pathogen evolved in Brazil. Genetic analysis of host species determinants in the blast fungus resulted in the cloning of avirulence genes PWT3 and PWT4, whose gene products elicit defense in wheat cultivars containing the corresponding resistance genes Rwt3 and Rwt4. Studies on avirulence and resistance gene distributions, together with historical data on wheat cultivation in Brazil, suggest that wheat blast emerged due to widespread deployment of rwt3 wheat (susceptible to Lolium isolates), followed by the loss of function of PWT3. This implies that the rwt3 wheat served as a springboard for the host jump to common wheat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-83
Number of pages4
Issue number6346
StatePublished - Jul 7 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank S. Kamoun (The Sainsbury Laboratory), T. Wolpert (Oregon State University), A. S. Urashima (Federal University of Sao Carlos), Y. Takano (Kyoto University), and H. Nakayashiki and K. Ikeda (Kobe University) for comments on drafts of the manuscript and S. Liu (Kansas State University) for sharing PacBio sequence data for the complex transposon insertion. Nucleotide sequence data reported herein are available in the DNA Data Bank of Japan (DDBJ) Sequenced Read Archive under accession number DRA005349 and in the DDBJ, European Molecular Biology Laboratory, and GenBank databases under accession numbers LC202650 to LC202657, LC215053, LC215054, and LC229726. This project was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science grant 26292025, the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative competitive grant 2013-68004-20378 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, and the Hatch project KY012037 under accession number 1002523. This is contribution number 17-356-J from the Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station and publication number 17-12-051 of the Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station. The supplementary materials contain additional data.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science. All rights reserved.

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