Back to overview

Hybridization of powdery mildew strains gives rise to pathogens on novel agricultural crop species.

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Menardo Fabrizio, Praz Coraline R, Wyder Stefan, Ben-David Roi, Bourras Salim, Matsumae Hiromi, McNally Kaitlin E, Parlange Francis, Riba Andrea, Roffler Stefan, Schaefer Luisa K, Shimizu Kentaro K, Valenti Luca, Zbinden Helen, Wicker Thomas, Keller Beat,
Project A bioinformatics study to unravel molecular mechanisms that drive genome evolution
Show all

Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Nature genetics
Volume (Issue) 48(2)
Page(s) 201 - 5
Title of proceedings Nature genetics
DOI 10.1038/ng.3485


Throughout the history of agriculture, many new crop species (polyploids or artificial hybrids) have been introduced to diversify products or to increase yield. However, little is known about how these new crops influence the evolution of new pathogens and diseases. Triticale is an artificial hybrid of wheat and rye, and it was resistant to the fungal pathogen powdery mildew (Blumeria graminis) until 2001 (refs. 1,2,3). We sequenced and compared the genomes of 46 powdery mildew isolates covering several formae speciales. We found that B. graminis f. sp. triticale, which grows on triticale and wheat, is a hybrid between wheat powdery mildew (B. graminis f. sp. tritici) and mildew specialized on rye (B. graminis f. sp. secalis). Our data show that the hybrid of the two mildews specialized on two different hosts can infect the hybrid plant species originating from those two hosts. We conclude that hybridization between mildews specialized on different species is a mechanism of adaptation to new crops introduced by agriculture.