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Host Adaptation Through Hybridization: Genome Analysis of Triticale Powdery Mildew Reveals Unique Combination of Lineage-Specific Effectors

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Müller Marion C., Kunz Lukas, Graf Johannes, Schudel Seraina, Keller Beat,
Project Molecular analysis of disease resistance specificity in cereals
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
Volume (Issue) XX(Xx)
Page(s) 1 - 8
Title of proceedings Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions
DOI 10.1094/mpmi-05-21-0111-sc

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


The emergence of new fungal pathogens through hybridization represents a serious challenge for agriculture. Hybridization between the wheat mildew (Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici) and rye mildew (B. graminis f. sp. secalis) pathogens has led to the emergence of a new mildew form (B. graminis f. sp. triticale) growing on triticale, a man-made amphiploid crop derived from crossing rye and wheat, which was originally resistant to the powdery mildew disease. The identification of the genetic basis of host adaptation in triticale mildew has been hampered by the lack of a reference genome. Here, we report the 141.4-Mb reference assembly of triticale mildew isolate THUN-12 derived from long-read sequencing and genetic map-based scaffolding. All 11 triticale mildew chromosomes were assembled from telomere-to-telomere and revealed that 19.7% of the hybrid genome was inherited from the rye mildew parental lineage. We identified lineage-specific regions in the hybrid, inherited from the rye or wheat mildew parental lineages, that harbor numerous bona fide candidate effectors. We propose that the combination of lineage-specific effectors in the hybrid genome is crucial for host adaptation, allowing the fungus to simultaneously circumvent the immune systems contributed by wheat and rye in the triticale crop. In line with this, we demonstrate the functional transfer of the SvrPm3 effector from wheat to triticale mildew, a virulence effector that specifically suppresses resistance of the wheat Pm3 allelic series. This transfer is the likely underlying cause for the observed poor effectiveness of several Pm3 alleles against triticale mildew and exemplifies the negative implications of pathogen hybridizations on resistance breeding.[Formula: see text] Copyright {\textcopyright} 2021 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license .