The Melampsora americana Population on Salix purpurea in the Great Lakes Region Is Highly Diverse with a Contributory Influence of Clonality
Shrub willows (Salix spp.) are emerging as a viable lignocellulosic, second-generation bioenergy crop with many growth characteristics favorable for marginal lands in New York State and surrounding areas. Willow rust, caused by members of the genus Melampsora, is the most limiting disease of shrub willow in this region and remains extremely understudied. In this study, genetic diversity, genetic structure, and pathogen clonality were examined in Melampsora americana over two growing seasons via genotyping-by-sequencing to identify single-nucleotide polymorphism markers. In conjunction with this project, a reference genome of rust isolate R15-033-03 was generated to aid in variant discovery. Sampling between years allowed regional and site-specific investigation into population dynamics, in the context of both wild and cultivated hosts within high-density plantings. This work revealed that this pathogen is largely panmictic over the sampled areas, with few sites showing moderate genetic differentiation. These data support the hypothesis of sexual recombination between growing seasons because no genotype persisted across the two years of sampling. Additionally, clonality was determined as a driver of pathogen populations within cultivated fields and single shrubs; however, there is also evidence of high genetic diversity of rust isolates in all settings. This work provides a framework for M. americana population structure in the Great Lakes region, providing crucial information that can aid in future resistance breeding efforts.
U.S. Department of Energy
genetic differentiation, genomics, heteroecious, macrocyclic, Melampsora americana, population biology, Salix purpurea, shrub willow, willow leaf rust
Chase R. Crowell, Dustin G. Wilkerson, Mariami Beckauri, Ali R. Cala, Patrick W. McMullen, Stephen Mondo, William Andreopoulos, Anna Lipzen, Kathleen Lail, Mi Yan, Vivian Ng, Igor V. Grigoriev, Lawrence B. Smart, and Christine D. Smart. "The Melampsora americana Population on Salix purpurea in the Great Lakes Region Is Highly Diverse with a Contributory Influence of Clonality" Phytopathology (2022): 907-916. https://doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-05-21-0201-R