The genome of opportunistic fungal pathogen Fusarium oxysporum carries a unique set of lineage-specific chromosomes

Yong Zhang, He Yang, David Turra, Shiguo Zhou, Dilay Hazal Ayhan, Gregory A. DeIulio, Li Guo, Karen Broz, Nathan Wiederhold, Jeffrey J. Coleman, Kerry O’ Donnell, Ilan Youngster, Alexander J. McAdam, Sergey Savinov, Terrance Shea, Sarah Young, Qiandong Zeng, Martijn Rep, Eric Pearlman, David C. SchwartzAntonio Di Pietro, H. Corby Kistler, Li Jun Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Fusarium oxysporum is a cross-kingdom fungal pathogen that infects plants and humans. Horizontally transferred lineage-specific (LS) chromosomes were reported to determine host-specific pathogenicity among phytopathogenic F. oxysporum. However, the existence and functional importance of LS chromosomes among human pathogenic isolates are unknown. Here we report four unique LS chromosomes in a human pathogenic strain NRRL 32931, isolated from a leukemia patient. These LS chromosomes were devoid of housekeeping genes, but were significantly enriched in genes encoding metal ion transporters and cation transporters. Homologs of NRRL 32931 LS genes, including a homolog of ceruloplasmin and the genes that contribute to the expansion of the alkaline pH-responsive transcription factor PacC/Rim1p, were also present in the genome of NRRL 47514, a strain associated with Fusarium keratitis outbreak. This study provides the first evidence, to our knowledge, for genomic compartmentalization in two human pathogenic fungal genomes and suggests an important role of LS chromosomes in niche adaptation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50
JournalCommunications Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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