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Diaporthaceae sp. PMI_573
Colony of Diaporthaceae sp. PMI_573 growing on potato dextrose agar (PDA). Image by Alejandro Rojas.

In the “1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya“ project (CSP1974), we aim to sequence additional sampling of genomic diversity within keystone lineages of plant-interacting fungi and saprophytic fungi that are of special ecological importance for understanding terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, comparative genome analysis with saprotrophic, mycorrhizal and pathogenic fungi will provide new insights into the specific and conserved adaptations associated with each fungal lifestyle.

Fungi in the Diaporthaceae are commonly associated with plants as pathogens or endophytes. This dual lifestyle is not well understood but it is known that species in this genus can have latent infection/colonization potential in plants until conditions change in the host. These fungi are also saprobes, but most reports describe these species as plant pathogens in a wide range of hosts. Their pathogenicity is also dependent on the host, which means that species could colonize different plant hosts as endophytes, but only cause disease in a certain host. For instance, the most closely related species to PMI_573 is Phomopsis columnaris which has been described as causing twig dieback on Vaccinum vitis-idaea (lingonberry), but it has been also described as an endophyte in plants such as Myrtus communis and Odontoglossum sp. (Orchidaceae). Increasing plant colonization of other fungi and production of volatiles could inhibit other microorganisms. This work is supported by the Genomic Science Program (U.S. Department of Energy) Plant Microbe Interfaces (PMI) Scientific Focus Area (http://pmi.ornl.gov) and by the Joint Genome Institute (U.S. Department of Energy) through their Community Sequencing Program (CSP 1974, 1KFG: Deep Sequencing of Ecologically-relevant Dikarya, F. Martin PI).


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