"Some of the most damaging tree diseases are caused by pathogens that induce cankers, a stem deformation often lethal. To investigate the cause of this adaptation, we sequenced the genomes of poplar pathogens that do and do not cause cankers. We found a unique cluster of genes that produce secondary metabolites and are co-activated when the canker pathogen is grown on poplar wood and leaves. The gene genealogy is discordant with the species phylogeny, showing a signature of horizontal transfer from fungi associated with wood decay. Furthermore, genes encoding hemicellulose-degrading enzymes are up-regulated on poplar wood chips, with some having been acquired horizontally. We propose that adaptation to colonize poplar woody stems is the result of acquisition of these genes." www.pnas.org/content/112/11/3451.abstract.html?etoc