UBC Faculty Research and Publications

The Notorious Soilborne Pathogenic Fungus Sclerotinia sclerotiorum: An Update on Genes Studied with Mutant Analysis Xia, Shitou; Xu, Yan; Hoy, Ryan; Zhang, Julia; Qin, Lei; Li, Xin

Abstract

Ascomycete Sclerotinia sclerotiorum (Lib.) de Bary is one of the most damaging soilborne fungal pathogens affecting hundreds of plant hosts, including many economically important crops. Its genomic sequence has been available for less than a decade, and it was recently updated with higher completion and better gene annotation. Here, we review key molecular findings on the unique biology and pathogenesis process of S. sclerotiorum, focusing on genes that have been studied in depth using mutant analysis. Analyses of these genes have revealed critical players in the basic biological processes of this unique pathogen, including mycelial growth, appressorium establishment, sclerotial formation, apothecial and ascospore development, and virulence. Additionally, the synthesis has uncovered gaps in the current knowledge regarding this fungus. We hope that this review will serve to build a better current understanding of the biology of this under-studied notorious soilborne pathogenic fungus.

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