During 2004, an unusual spread of Phytophthora infestans on tomato plants in greenhouses located in Almería and Granada provinces, southern Spain, was observed. Infected plants had water-soaked, brown spots on leaves and stems and necrotic areas with white mold on the surface of fruits. Three isolates were obtained by plating diseased tissue on V8 juice agar medium and maintained on rye agar at 18°C. These isolates were analyzed for the mating type. Crosses were carried out using V8 juice agar and rye agar. The two parental isolates US1 (A1) and US8 (A2) were both provided by W. E. Fry, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Two of the Spanish isolates were homothallic and the other isolate belonged to the uncommon mating type A1A2. To confirm the occurrence of the two mating types, 43 single-sporangium progeny were produced and analyzed from the A1A2 mating type. Thirty eight isolates were A1, two were A2, one was A1A2 mating type, and two were sterile. Assessment of five single-sporangium progeny from the homothallic type resulted in two A1, two homothallic, and one sterile isolate. A1A2 isolates produced oospores when crossed with either A1 or A2, but not when self-crossed. Previously, the A1A2 mating type has been found in Israel in the field and was obtained from oospores produced on tomato seeds (2,3). Since 2003, mating types of P. infestans isolates recovered from potato (60) and tomato (8) in southern Spain have been characterized. Seventy-five percent of the isolates recovered from potato were A1 and 25% were A2 mating types. Isolates recovered from tomato were 50% A1 and 50% A2 (1). To our knowledge, this is the first report of the occurrence of the A1A2 mating type and homothallic P. infestans isolates on tomato in Spain.
References: (1) E. Andujar et al. Congr. Sociedad Española de Fitopatol. 12:244, 2004. (2) E. Rubin and Y. Cohen. Phytoparasitica 32:237, 2004. (3) E. Rubin and Y. Cohen. Plant Dis. 90:741, 2006.
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