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Genetic Structure of Phaeosphaeria nodorum Populations in the North-Central and Midwestern United States
Stagonospora nodorum blotch, caused by Phaeosphaeria nodorum, is considered one of the most destructive foliar diseases of wheat in the United States. However, relatively little is known about the population biology of this fungus in the major wheat-growing regions of the central United States. To rectify this situation, 308 single-spore isolates of P. nodorum were analyzed from 12 populations, five from hard red spring wheat cultivars in Minnesota and North Dakota and seven from soft red winter wheat in Indiana and Ohio. The genetic structure of the sampled populations was determined by analyzing polymorphisms at five microsatellite or simple-sequence repeat (SSR) loci and the mating type locus. Although a few clones were identified, most P. nodorum populations had high levels of gene (H(S) = 0.175 to 0.519) and genotype (D = 0.600 to 0.972) diversity. Gene diversity was higher among isolates collected from spring wheat cultivars in North Dakota and Minnesota (mean H(S) = 0.503) than in those from winter wheat cultivars in Indiana and Ohio (H(S) = 0.269). Analyses of clone-corrected data sets showed equal frequencies of both mating types in both regional and local populations, indicating that sexual recombination may occur regularly. However, significant gametic disequilibrium occurred in three of the four populations from North Dakota, and there was genetic differentiation both within and among locations. Genetic differentiation between the hard red spring and soft red winter wheat production regions was moderate (F(ST) = 0.168), but whether this is due to differences in wheat production or to geographical variation cannot be determined. These results suggest that sexual reproduction occurs in P. nodorum populations in the major wheat-growing regions of the central United States, and that geographically separated populations can be genetically differentiated, reflecting either restrictions on gene flow or selection.
fungal diseases of plants
plant pathogenic fungi
hard red spring wheat
soft red winter wheat
Midwestern United States
Phytopathology 2008 Jan., v. 98, no. 1
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
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