Moniliophthora perniciosa and M. roreri are among the few Agaricales species that evolved a phytopatogenecity life style. Both species are cacao (Theobroma cacao L.) pathogens, responsible for two serious and economically relevant diseases: witch's broom and pod rot. The presence of only few plant pathogens on related groups, the relative short divergence time, and the high variability found among M. perniciosa biotypes, turn this group into a potential model for either the study of genomic changes associated to the evolution of plant patogenicity and the future development to strategies against plant pathogens. In order to get a whole knowledge about genes related to the development of plant patogenicity, it is imperative to incorporate an evolutionary perspective on genomic analysis. These kind of analysis was applied on a previous project in the search for expansion and retraction signals on gene families of Moniliophthora when comparing to species of phylogenetically related groups. In the present project we propose a deeper analyses on genomic mechanisms for pathogenecity, adding to previous data the genome assembly of isolates from biotypes C and S of M. perniciosa obtained with high throughput sequencing and analysing comparatively the evolutionary rates of coding regions within and among species of this fungi group. Computing methods will be applied for a genomic scale scan for genes and regions of high evolutionary rates and also for a detailed analysis of genes highlighted both on the genomic scan and on the families with significant expansion or retraction detected on previous results.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: