Phylogenetics of a fungal invasion: Origins and widespread dispersal of white-nose syndrome

mBio
By: , and 

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Abstract

Globalization has facilitated the worldwide movement and introduction of pathogens, but epizoological reconstructions of these invasions are often hindered by limited sampling and insufficient genetic resolution among isolates. Pseudogymnoascus destructans, a fungal pathogen causing the epizootic of white-nose syndrome in North American bats, has exhibited few genetic polymorphisms in previous studies, presenting challenges for both epizoological tracking of the spread of this fungus and for determining its evolutionary history. We used single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from whole-genome sequencing and microsatellites to construct high-resolution phylogenies of P. destructans. Shallow genetic diversity and the lack of geographic structuring among North American isolates support a recent introduction followed by expansion via clonal reproduction across the epizootic zone. Moreover, the genetic relationships of isolates within North America suggest widespread mixing and long-distance movement of the fungus. Genetic diversity among isolates of P. destructans from Europe was substantially higher than in those from North America. However, genetic distance between the North American isolates and any given European isolate was similar to the distance between the individual European isolates. In contrast, the isolates we examined from Asia were highly divergent from both European and North American isolates. Although the definitive source for introduction of the North American population has not been conclusively identified, our data support the origin of the North American invasion by P. destructans from Europe rather than Asia.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Phylogenetics of a fungal invasion: Origins and widespread dispersal of white-nose syndrome
Series title mBio
DOI 10.1128/mBio.01941-17
Volume 8
Issue 6
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher American Society for Microbiology
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description e01941-17; 15 p.
First page 1
Last page 15