Aspergillus fumigatus is both an environmental saprobe and an opportunistic human fungal pathogen. Knowledge of genomic variation across A. fumigatus isolates is essential for understanding the evolution of pathogenicity, virulence, and resistance to antifungal drugs. Here, we investigated 206 A. fumigatus isolates (133 clinical and 73 environmental isolates) aiming to identify genes with variable presence across isolates and test whether this variation was related to the clinical or environmental origin of isolates. The PanCore genome of A. fumigatus constitutes 13,085 ortholog groups, of which 7,773 (59.4%) are shared by all isolates (CORE) and 5,312 (40.6%) vary in their gene presence across isolates (ACCESSORY). Despite differences in the distribution of orthologs across all isolates, no significant differences were observed among clinical vs. environmental isolates when accounting for phylogeny. Orthologs that differ in their distribution across isolates tend to occur in low frequency and/or be restricted to specific isolates; thus, the degree of genomic conservation between orthologs of A. fumigatus is high. These results suggest that differences in the distribution of orthologs within A. fumigatus cannot be associated with the clinical or environmental origin of isolates.
Aspergillus fumigatus is a cosmopolitan species of fungi responsible for thousands of cases of invasive disease. Clinical and environmental isolates of A. fumigatus exhibit extensive phenotypic differences, including differences related to virulence and antifungal drug resistance. A comprehensive survey of the genomic diversity present in A. fumigatus and its relationship to the clinical or environmental origin of isolates can contribute to the prediction of the mechanisms of evolution and infection of the species. Our results suggest that there is no significant variation in ortholog distribution between clinical and environmental isolates when accounting for evolutionary history. The work supports the hypothesis that environmental and clinical isolates of A. fumigatus do not differ in their gene contents.