Megan C. McDonald

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Comparative analyses of pathogen genomes provide new insights into how pathogens have evolved common and divergent virulence strategies to invade related plant species. Fusarium crown and root rots are important diseases of wheat and barley world-wide. In Australia, these diseases are primarily caused by the fungal pathogen Fusarium pseudograminearum.(More)
The wheat pathogen Stagonospora nodorum produces multiple necrotrophic effectors (also called host-selective toxins) that promote disease by interacting with corresponding host sensitivity gene products. SnTox1 was the first necrotrophic effector identified in S. nodorum, and was shown to induce necrosis on wheat lines carrying Snn1. Here, we report the(More)
The necrotrophic fungus Stagonospora nodorum produces multiple proteinaceous host-selective toxins (HSTs) which act in effector triggered susceptibility. Here, we report the molecular cloning and functional characterization of the SnTox3-encoding gene, designated SnTox3, as well as the initial characterization of the SnTox3 protein. SnTox3 is a 693 bp(More)
Zymoseptoria tritici is a host-specific, necrotrophic pathogen of wheat. Infection by Z. tritici is characterized by its extended latent period, which typically lasts 2 wks, and is followed by extensive host cell death, and rapid proliferation of fungal biomass. This work characterizes the level of genomic variation in 13 isolates, for which we have(More)
Bipolaris sorokiniana is the causal agent of multiple diseases on wheat and barley and is the primary constraint to cereal production throughout South Asia. Despite its significance, the molecular basis of disease is poorly understood. To address this, the genomes of three Australian isolates of B. sorokiniana were sequenced and screened for known(More)
Population genetic and phylogenetic studies have shown that Phaeosphaeria nodorum is a member of a species complex that probably shares its center of origin with wheat (Triticum aestivum and Triticum durum). We examined the evolutionary histories of three known necrotrophic effectors (NEs) produced by P. nodorum and compared them with neutral loci. We(More)
Phytopathogens are a global threat to plant agriculture and biodiversity. The genomics era has lead to an exponential rise in comparative gene and genome studies of both economically significant and insignificant microorganisms. In this review we highlight some recent comparisons and discuss how they identify shared genes or genomic regions associated with(More)
The origin of the fungal wheat pathogen Phaeosphaeria nodorum remains unclear despite earlier intensive global population genetic and phylogeographical studies. We sequenced 1683 bp distributed across three loci in 355 globally distributed Phaeosphaeria isolates, including 74 collected in Iran near the center of origin of wheat. We identified nine(More)
The wheat pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici possesses a large number of accessory chromosomes that may be present or absent in its genome. The genome of the reference isolate IPO323 has been assembled to a very high standard and contains 21 full length chromosome sequences, 8 of which represent accessory chromosomes. The IPO323 reference, when combined with(More)
The growth of microorganisms in planta is often categorized based on their methods of nutrient acquisition and the physical appearance of symptoms on the host. For example, biotrophs thrive on living tissue while necrotrophic pathogens often quickly lyse cells to access nutrients. Hemibiotrophs are pathogens that initially feed on living host tissue without(More)