Skip to main content

Data from: Host specialisation and disparate evolution of Pyrenophora teres f. teres on barley and barley grass

Cite this dataset

Linde, Celeste C.; Smith, Leon M. (2019). Data from: Host specialisation and disparate evolution of Pyrenophora teres f. teres on barley and barley grass [Dataset]. Dryad.


Background Pathogens evolve in an arms race, frequently evolving virulence that defeats resistance genes in their hosts. Infection of multiple hosts may accelerate this virulence evolution. Theory predicts that host diversity affects pathogen diversity, with more diverse hosts expected to harbour more diverse pathogens that reproduce sexually. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the microsatellite (SSR) genetic diversity of the barley leaf pathogen Pyrenophora teres f. teres (Ptt) from barley (monoculture) and barley grass (outbreeding). We also aim to investigate host specificity and attempt to track virulence on two barley cultivars, Maritime and Keel. Results Genetic diversity in barley Ptt populations was higher than in populations from barley grass. Barley Ptt populations also had higher linkage disequilibrium levels, indicating less frequent sexual reproduction, consistent with the Red Queen hypothesis theory that genetically diverse hosts should select for higher levels of sexual reproduction of the pathogen. SSR analyses indicate that host-associated Ptt populations do not share genotypes and have independent evolutionary histories. Pathogenicity studies showed host specificity as host-associated Ptt isolates could not cross-infect hosts. Minimum spanning network analyses indicated two major clusters of barley Ptt. One cluster represents Maritime virulent and isolates from Western Australia (WA). Low PhiPt population differentiation between WA populations and those from Maritime and Keel, indicated a WA origin of the Maritime and Keel virulences. The main minimum spanning network cluster is represented by a panmictic population structure, represented by isolates from all over Australia. Conclusions Although barley Ptt populations are more diverse than barley grass Ptt populations, this may be a result of the size and number of founder Ptt populations to Australia, with larger and more barley Ptt populations introduced. More frequent sexual reproduction of Ptt on barley grass support the Red Queen Hypothesis and suggest evolutionary potential of pathogens on diverse hosts are high. Extensive gene flow of Ptt between regions in Australia is suggested to maintain a panmictic population structure, with human-mediated dispersal aiding in virulence evolution of Ptt on barley.

Usage notes