Peterson, Daniel G.

Committee Member

Diehl, Susan V.

Committee Member

Nelson, C. Dana

Committee Member

Magbanua, Zenaida

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


A major disease damaging seedlings of Pinus palustris is caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella dearnessii. Population structure of this pathogen was studied in a population in Mississippi. High genetic diversity (0.65) was measured using microsatellite markers and coincides with the high number of vegetative compatibly groups observed. A 30 Mb genome sequence for a single isolate of M. dearnessii was assembled, representing 65% of the estimated genome size. Nearly all (93%) of the core set of genes present in eukaryotes were detected from a total of 10,996 predicted genes. A total of 853 enzymatic associations were identified along with several genes homologous to pathogenic genes in other fungal pathogens. These results provide insights into the infection process and host-pathogen interactions. Further investigating this pathosystem will lead to effective disease management strategies.