is a genus of filamentous fungi that contains many agronomically important plant pathogens, mycotoxin producers, and opportunistic human pathogens. Comparative analyses have revealed that the genome is compartmentalized into regions responsible for primary metabolism and reproduction (core genome), and pathogen virulence, host specialization, and possibly other functions (adaptive genome). Genes involved in virulence and host specialization are located on pathogenicity chromosomes within strains pathogenic to tomato ( f. sp. ) and pea (’ f. sp. ). The experimental transfer of pathogenicity chromosomes from f. sp. into a nonpathogen transformed the latter into a tomato pathogen. Thus, horizontal transfer may explain the polyphyletic origins of host specificity within the genus. Additional genome-scale comparative and functional studies are needed to elucidate the evolution and diversity of pathogenicity mechanisms, which may help inform novel disease management strategies against fusarial pathogens.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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