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Whole genome sequencing and comparative genomics of multiple F. graminearum isolates
S. WALKOWIAK (1), R. Subramaniam (2), L. Wang (2), O. Rowland (1). (1) Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada; (2) Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada

The <i>F. graminearum</i> species complex is the principal cause of Fusarium head blight in North America and results in severe losses in the yield and quality of cereals. New challenges are beginning to develop in the management of these pests; different field isolates have variations in both the toxins they produce as well as their pathology in wheat. There is growing concern surrounding the emergence and spread of some highly virulent isolates that produce the toxin 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol (3ADON), which may be displacing the less virulent 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol producing isolates (15ADON). In addition to these differences, our HPLC results indicate that culture conditions used to induce 15ADON production are unable to induce 3ADON production. Although some of the genetic mechanisms concerning these differences among isolates are known, many of them remain to be elucidated. This project focuses on characterizing the genetic differences between isolates within the <i>F. graminearum</i> species complex to identify the lineage specific regions that lead to differences in toxin production and pathology. We performed whole genome sequencing (Illumina) and comparative genomics of eight different isolates from the <i>F. graminearum</i> species complex, which have reported differences in toxin production and pathology in wheat. The genomes have been assembled with a coverage > 35 fold. Several unique genomic features as well as regions of high nucleotide variability have been identified.

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