Rhizoctonia solani is a damaging soilborne pathogen, which affects most field crops in the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. The objective of this study was to conduct a phylogenetic comparison of isolates of R. solani collected from a previous survey in the major canola- and wheat-growing regions of western Canada. A total of 128 multinucleate isolates from a previous survey were identified by internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence and compared to anastomosis group (AG) results. The multinucleate isolates of R. solani were grouped into eight distinct clades. Each clade corresponded to a specific AG with the exception of two distinct clades that were observed for isolates classified as AG 2-1 by anastomosis testing. While most isolates of AG 5 clustered together according to ITS sequences, three isolates classified by anastomosis grouping as AG 5 grouped with AG 2-1, AG 4, and a binucleate Rhizoctonia sp. in the phylogenetic analysis. In most instances, the results from AG tests were consistent with ITS sequence, but there were still several cases where isolates were inconsistently classified or failed to undergo anastomosis with any of the tester strains used in this study. This provides support for the use of the ITS region as a valuable tool for rapid identification of R. solani isolates to their respective AGs.
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