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Coexistence of multiple endemic and pandemic lineages of the rice blast pathogen

Gladieux P., Ravel S., Rieux A., Cros-Arteil S., Adreit H., Milazzo J., Thierry M., Fournier E., Terauchi R., Tharreau D.. 2018. Mbio, 9 (2) : 17 p..

DOI: 10.1128/mBio.01806-17

The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae (syn., Pyricularia oryzae) is both a threat to global food security and a model for plant pathology. Molecular pathologists need an accurate understanding of the origins and line of descent of M. oryzae populations in order to identify the genetic and functional bases of pathogen adaptation and to guide the development of more effective control strategies. We used a whole-genome sequence analysis of samples from different times and places to infer details about the genetic makeup of M. oryzae from a global collection of isolates. Analyses of population structure identified six lineages within M. oryzae, including two pandemic on japonica and indica rice, respectively, and four lineages with more restricted distributions. Tip-dating calibration indicated that M. oryzae lineages separated about a millennium ago, long after the initial domestication of rice. The major lineage endemic to continental Southeast Asia displayed signatures of sexual recombination and evidence of DNA acquisition from multiple lineages. Tests for weak natural selection revealed that the pandemic spread of clonal lineages entailed an evolutionary ¿cost,¿ in terms of the accumulation of deleterious mutations. Our findings reveal the coexistence of multiple endemic and pandemic lineages with contrasting population and genetic characteristics within a widely distributed pathogen.

Mots-clés : riz; maladie des plantes; champignon pathogène; oryza sativa; asie du sud-est

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