Variation in genome organization of the plant pathogenic fungus Colletotrichum lindemuthianum
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The genome structure of Colletotrichum lindemuthianum in a set of diverse isolates was investigated using a combination of physical and molecular approaches. Flow cytometric measurement of genome size revealed significant variation between strains, with the smallest genome representing 59% of the largest. Southern-blot profiles of a cloned fungal telomere revealed a total chromosome number varying from 9 to 12. Chromosome separations using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) showed that these chromosomes belong to two distinct size classes: a variable number of small (< 2.5 Mb) polymorphic chromosomes and a set of unresolved chromosomes larger than 7 Mb. Two dispersed repeat elements were shown to cluster on distinct polymorphic minichromosomes. Single-copy flanking sequences from these repeat-containing clones specifically marked distinct small chromosomes. These markers were absent in some strains, indicating that part of the observed variability in genome organization may be explained by the presence or absence, in a given strain, of dispensable genomic regions and/or chromosomes.
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