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Hybridization speeds up the emergence and evolution of a new pathogen species

Plant pathogens can evolve new host specificities and overcome host resistances over surprisingly few generations, a process that is greatly accelerated by agricultural practices. A new study provides a striking example in which the rapid emergence of a new pathogen via introgressive hybridization mirrors the evolution of a hybrid cereal crop.

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Figure 1: Colony from a single spore of the mildew pathogen Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici two days after infection of a wheat leaf.

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Correspondence to Eva H Stukenbrock.

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Stukenbrock, E. Hybridization speeds up the emergence and evolution of a new pathogen species. Nat Genet 48, 113–115 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.3494

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