Genetics underpinning host range of the dothideomycete Corynespora cassiicola

Marcio Zaccaron Burt Bluhm
Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA

The dothideomycete Corynespora cassiicola is a major fungal pathogen of several economically important crops, including soybean, cotton, papaya, rubber tree, and cucumber. C. cassiicola hosts can be found in over 50 different plant families making it one of the dothideomycetes with the widest host range. No studies thus far have examined the genetics behind C. cassiicola ability to infect such a myriad of hosts. The overarching goal of this work is to develop C. cassiicola into a tractable system for molecular genetics in order to identify genetic components involved in its host range regulation. We have identified isolates that segregate for virulence in cotton and soybean. To elucidate C. cassiicola host range regulation, current work is focused on genome resequencing, forward genetics, and in-planta transcriptomics.