Jeffrey J. Coleman, University of Arizona
Steve D. Rounsley, University of Arizona
Marianela Rodriguez-Carres, University of Arizona
Alan Kuo, United States Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute
Catherine C. Wasmann, University of Arizona
Jane Grimwood, Stanford Human Genome Center
Jeremy Schmutz, Stanford Human Genome Center
Masatoki Taga, Okayama University, Japan
Gerard J. White, University of Arizona
Shiguo Zhou, University of Wisconsin - Madison
David C. Schwartz, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Michael Freitag, Oregon State University
Li-Jun Ma, The Broad Institute
Etienne G. J. Danchin, Universités Aix-Marseille I & II, France
Bernard Henrissat, Universités Aix-Marseille I & II, France
Pedro M. Coutinho, Universités Aix-Marseille I & II, France
David R. Nelson, University of Tennessee
Dave Straney, University of Maryland - College Park
Carolyn A. Napoli, University of Arizona
Bridget M. Barker, University of Arizona
Michael Gribskov, Purdue University
Martijn Rep, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Scott Kroken, University of Arizona
István Molnár, University of Arizona
Christopher Rensing, University of Arizona
John C. Kennell, Saint Louis University
Jorge Zamora, University of Arizona
Mark L. Farman, University of KentuckyFollow
Eric U. Selker, University of Oregon
Asaf Salamov, United States Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute
Harris Shapiro, United States Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute
Jasmyn Pangilinan, United States Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute
Erika Lindquist, United States Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute
Casey Lamers, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Igor V. Grigoriev, United States Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute
David M. Geiser, Pennsylvania State University
Sarah F. Covert, University of Georgia
Esteban Temporini, University of Arizona
Hans D. Vanetten, University of Arizona


The ascomycetous fungus Nectria haematococca, (asexual name Fusarium solani), is a member of a group of >50 species known as the "Fusarium solani species complex". Members of this complex have diverse biological properties including the ability to cause disease on >100 genera of plants and opportunistic infections in humans. The current research analyzed the most extensively studied member of this complex, N. haematococca mating population VI (MPVI). Several genes controlling the ability of individual isolates of this species to colonize specific habitats are located on supernumerary chromosomes. Optical mapping revealed that the sequenced isolate has 17 chromosomes ranging from 530 kb to 6.52 Mb and that the physical size of the genome, 54.43 Mb, and the number of predicted genes, 15,707, are among the largest reported for ascomycetes. Two classes of genes have contributed to gene expansion: specific genes that are not found in other fungi including its closest sequenced relative, Fusarium graminearum; and genes that commonly occur as single copies in other fungi but are present as multiple copies in N. haematococca MPVI. Some of these additional genes appear to have resulted from gene duplication events, while others may have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer. The supernumerary nature of three chromosomes, 14, 15, and 17, was confirmed by their absence in pulsed field gel electrophoresis experiments of some isolates and by demonstrating that these isolates lacked chromosome-specific sequences found on the ends of these chromosomes. These supernumerary chromosomes contain more repeat sequences, are enriched in unique and duplicated genes, and have a lower G+C content in comparison to the other chromosomes. Although the origin(s) of the extra genes and the supernumerary chromosomes is not known, the gene expansion and its large genome size are consistent with this species' diverse range of habitats. Furthermore, the presence of unique genes on supernumerary chromosomes might account for individual isolates having different environmental niches.

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Published in PLoS Genetics, v. 5, no. 8, e1000618.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Public Domain declaration which stipulates that, once placed in the public domain, this work may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose.

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