Austropuccinia psidii reproduces sexually and asexually. A knowledge gap about its reproductive biology is whether populations of this pathogen that were formerly structured (separated) by host range can reproduce on shared hosts. Join us for this webinar by plant pathologist and mycologist Alistair McTaggart, who has been delving into this research area. Recent work by Alistair and colleagues determined whether mating genes in three genomes of A. psidii (from Australia, Brazil and South Africa) were under selection, as a proxy for whether different strains can reproduce sexually on a shared host. They examined contigs that contained three homologs of the STE3.2 gene, which were near-identical in the three genomes, and the homeodomain locus, which contained two alleles of two homeodomain genes in each genome. The lack of variation in STE3.2 genes may indicate A. psidii uses bipolar mating, and there are implications for biosecurity if different strains are sexually compatible based on variation in the homeodomain locus.
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Posted: 12 October 2021 in the Events category