Moniliophthora roreri and Moniliophthora perniciosa are two basidiomycetes from Amazon that cause Frosty Rod Pot and Witches'broom disease in cocoa respectively. Together these species have caused extensive damage to cacao crops in Central America (M. roreri) and Brazil (M. perniciosa), which led to performing a series of genetic, biochemical, physiological and morphological studies with both. Such studies are mostly articulated with the Witches'broom genome project, which has been published and resulted in several studies completed and underway, and Frosty Rod Pot genome project, which is under assembly and initial publication.The genus Moniliophthora belongs to the family Tricholomataceae, that consists mainly of saprotrophic fungi. Because of this it is expected that the evolution of plant pathogen in the genus have involved relatively few genetic alterations in relation to the ancestral saprotrophic species. Moreover these changes should be strongly focused on genes related to determining the mode of life. Comparative studies between the two species, and between them and the saprotrophic species closely related, may allow the detection of these changes. This knowledge will contribute not only to understanding the genetic processes underlying Frost Rod Pot and Witches'broom but may also provide information about the evolution of fungal pathogens in general, making the genera Moniliophthora and its related species a model system to study this important phenomenon. In this project we intend to complete the genomic sequencing of Crinipellis campanela a Tricholomataceae closely related to Moniliophthora, and use the data for evolutionary and functional comparative studies together with M. roreri and M. pernicious.
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