Fungicides are extensively used in the Columbia Basin of Washington in an effort to manage early blight and brown spot on potato caused by Alternaria solani and A. alternata, respectively. Azoxystrobin and boscalid interfere with cellular respiration, and fungicide resistance is expected to occur in fungal populations due to the narrow modes of action dictated by each fungicide. The objective of this research was to assess A. solani and A. alternata populations in the Columbia Basin of Washington for azoxystrobin and boscalid resistance by initially screening isolates at a threshold concentration using mycelial growth and spore germination. Fifty isolates of A. solani and 58 of A. alternata were randomly selected for screening from 671 isolates collected from potato in the Columbia Basin from 2009 to 2011. Screening at a threshold concentration was done to estimate the range of fungicide resistance within the populations of A. solani and A. alternata in the region. Resistance of five isolates that differed in sensitivity to azoxystrobin and boscalid were then assessed for mycelial growth and spore germination at three fungicide concentrations in order to determine where rates were no longer effective. A. solani mycelial growth ratios and percent spore germination on azoxystrobin-amended media did not change from 2010 to 2011. A slight decrease in resistance of mycelial growth to azoxystrobin was exhibited among A. alternata isolates collected between 2010 and 2011. No change in sensitivity to azoxystrobin was observed in mycelial growth ratios among A. alternata isolates collected between 2010 and 2011. Resistance to boscalid by A. solani increased as indicated by a significant increase in mean mycelial growth ratio from 2010 to 2011, whereas A. alternata showed no change. Spore germination of A. solani was less at 100 μg/ml than at 1 or 10 μg/ml azoxystrobin. Spore germination of A. alternata did not differ among 1, 10, or 100 μg/ml azoxystrobin. Spore germination of A. solani and A. alternata did not differ among 0.5, 5, or 50 μg/ml boscalid. Resistance to azoxystrobin and boscalid in A. solani and A. alternata populations was shown to be present in the Columbia Basin and will likely become widespread with continued used of site-specific fungicides.
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