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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Global genomic analyses of wheat powdery mildew reveal association of pathogen spread with historical human migration and trade

Sotiropoulos, Alexandros G.; Arango-Isaza, Epifania; Ban, Tomohiro; Barbieri, Chiara; Bourras, Salim; Cowger, Christina; Ben-David, Roi; Dinoor, Amos; Ellwood, Simon R.; Graf, Johannes; Hatta, Koichi; Helguera, Marcelo; Sanchez-Martin, Javier; McDonald, Bruce A.; Morgounov, Alexey, I; Muller, Marion C.; Shamanin, Vladimir; Shimizu, Kentaro K.; Yoshihira, Taiki; Zbinden, Helen; Keller, Beat; Wicker, Thomas
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The fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici causes wheat powdery mildew disease. Here, Sotiropoulos et al. analyze a global sample of 172 mildew genomes, providing evidence that humans drove global spread of the pathogen throughout history and that mildew rapidly evolved through hybridization with local fungal strains.The fungus Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici causes wheat powdery mildew disease. Here, we study its spread and evolution by analyzing a global sample of 172 mildew genomes. Our analyses show that B.g. tritici emerged in the Fertile Crescent during wheat domestication. After it spread throughout Eurasia, colonization brought it to America, where it hybridized with unknown grass mildew species. Recent trade brought USA strains to Japan, and European strains to China. In both places, they hybridized with local ancestral strains. Thus, although mildew spreads by wind regionally, our results indicate that humans drove its global spread throughout history and that mildew rapidly evolved through hybridization.

Published in

Nature Communications
2022, volume: 13, number: 1, article number: 4315

Authors' information

Sotiropoulos, Alexandros G.
University of Zurich
Arango-Isaza, Epifania
University of Zurich
Ban, Tomohiro
Yokohama City University
Barbieri, Chiara
University of Zurich
Barbieri, Chiara
Max Planck Society
University of Zürich
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Forest Mycology and Plant Pathology
Cowger, Christina
University of North Carolina
Ben-David, Roi
Institute of Plant Breeding and Acclimatization
Dinoor, Amos
Ellwood, Simon R.
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Graf, Johannes
Curtin University
Hatta, Koichi
University of Zurich
Helguera, Marcelo
National Agriculture and Food Research Organization - Japan
Sanchez-Martin, Javier
Instituto Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA)
McDonald, Bruce A.
University of Zurich
Morgounov, Alexey
ETH Zurich
Muller, Marion C.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
Shamanin, Vladimir
University of Zurich
Shimizu, Kentaro K.
Omsk State Agrarian University
Yoshihira, Taiki
Yokohama City University
Yoshihira, Taiki
University of Zurich
Zbinden, Helen
Rakuno Gakuen University
Keller, Beat
University of Zurich
Wicker, Thomas
University of Zurich
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UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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