The ash dieback invasion of Europe was founded by two individuals from a native population with huge adaptive potential [article]

Mark McMullan, Maryam Rafiqi, Gemy Kaithakottil, Bernardo J. Clavijo, Lorelei Bilham, Elizabeth Orton, Lawrence Percival-Alwyn, Ben J. Ward, Anne Edwards, Diane G. O. Saunders, Gonzalo Garcia, Jon Wright (+19 others)
2017 bioRxiv   pre-print
Accelerating international trade and climate change make pathogen spread an increasing concern. Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, the causal agent of ash dieback is one such pathogen, moving across continents and hosts from Asian to European ash. Most European common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) trees are highly susceptible to H. fraxineus although a small minority (~5%) evidently have partial resistance to dieback. We have assembled and annotated a draft of the H. fraxineus genome which approaches
more » ... e scale. Pathogen genetic diversity across Europe, and in Japan, reveals a tight bottleneck into Europe, though a signal of adaptive diversity remains in key host interaction genes (effectors). We find that the European population was founded by two divergent haploid individuals. Divergence between these haplotypes represents the shadow of a large source population and subsequent introduction would greatly increase adaptive potential and the pathogens threat. Thus, EU wide biological security measures remain an important part of the strategy to manage this disease.
doi:10.1101/146746 fatcat:wtob37df4zh7hfvzgs746z5qk4