The emergence of new pathogens: insights from comparing genome sequences of plant pathogenic fungi
Research report (imported) 2011 - Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology
The key question of our research is how do new pathogens emerge and how fast can they adapt to new environments and host species. We investigate evolutionary processes during pathogen speciation and host specialization by comparison of 12 genomes of closely related grass pathogens. Agriculture strongly affects the rate of pathogen adaptation as crop species more rapidly accumulate beneficial mutations compared to its wild relatives. Analyses of more than 9500 genes facilitated the identification of candidate genes involved in speciation and host specialization of pathogens.