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Fungal Genet Biol. 2008 Mar;45(3):266-77. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

A multi-locus phylogeny for Phytophthora utilizing markers derived from complete genome sequences.

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Department of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Phytophthora species are devastating plant pathogens in both agricultural and natural environments. Due to their significant economic and environmental impact, there has been increasing interest in Phytophthora genetics and genomics, culminating in the recent release of three complete genome sequences (P. ramorum, P. sojae, and P. infestans). In this study, genome and other large sequence databases were used to identify over 225 potential genetic markers for phylogenetic analyses. Here, we present a genus-wide phylogeny for 82 Phytophthora species using seven of the most informative loci (approximately 8700 nucleotide sites). Our results support the division of the genus into 10 well-supported clades. The relationships among these clades were rigorously evaluated using a number of phylogenetic methods. This is the most comprehensive study of Phytophthora relationships to date, and many newly discovered species have been included. A more resolved phylogeny of Phytophthora species will allow for better interpretations of the overall evolutionary history of the genus.

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