Mitochondrial introgression and interspecies recombination in the Fusarium fujikuroi species complex

31 Oct 2019

The Fusarium fujikuroi species complex (FFSC) is an economically important monophyletic lineage in the genus Fusarium. Incongruence observed among mitochondrial gene trees, as well as the multiple non-orthologous copies of the internal transcribed spacer region of the ribosomal RNA genes, suggests that the origin and history of this complex likely involved interspecies gene flow. Based on this hypothesis, the mitochondrial genomes of non-conspecific species should harbour signatures of introgression or introgressive hybridization. The aim of this study was therefore to search for recombination between the mitochondrial genomes of different species in the FFSC. Using methods based on mt genome sequence similarity, five significant recombinant regions in both gene and intergenic regions were detected. Using coalescent-based methods and the sequences for individual mt genes, various ancestral recombination events between different lineages of the FFSC were also detected. These findings suggest that interspecies gene flow and introgression are likely to have played key roles in the evolution of the FFSC at both ancient and more recent time scales.