Phytophthora infestans (Mont.) de Bary has produced significant losses in potato and tomato yield and quality during recent late blight epidemics in North America. During the 1990s, more aggressive and genetically diverse P. infestans genotypes migrated to Canada and the United States (2). For example, US-8 became predominant and was found to be more aggressive in potato than previous clonal lineages of P. infestans. Recent P. infestans genotypes in potato and tomato plants from the United States and Canada include US-22, US-23, and US-24 representing clonal lineages with unique epidemiological characteristics (2,3,4). Characteristic phenotypic traits have been described for P. infestans clonal lineages US-8, US-22, US-23, and US-24 based on the mating type, mefenoxam sensitivity, pathogenicity, and rate of germination suggesting an association between phenotypic variations and the genotype (1,4). Analysis of P. infestans isolates collected in Canada during 2010 revealed the presence of the US-23 clonal lineage in four different areas of western Canada but not in eastern Canada (4). Isolates of P. infestans collected from eastern Canada for several years prior to 2011 were all US-8 A2 mating type. Isolation and analysis of 98 P. infestans isolates in 2011 from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island followed standard procedures (2,3,4). Results confirmed the presence of the US-23 clonal lineage in Atlantic Canada on potato and tomato leaves with late blight symptoms, increasing the genetic complexity of P. infestans in eastern Canada. Allozyme banding patterns at the glucose-6-phosphate isomerase (Gpi) locus showed a 100/100 profile in 10 P. infestans isolates, consistent with the US-23 clonal lineage (2,3,4). Furthermore, in vitro mefenoxam sensitivity was observed in all 10 P. infestans US-23 isolates from New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. Mating type assays confirmed the isolates were of the A1 mating type. RFLP analysis of EcoR1-digested genomic DNA using the multilocus RG57 sequence as a probe produced the DNA pattern 1, 2, 5, 6, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 24a, 25, indicative of US-23 (2,4). Microsatellite analysis using polymorphic markers on New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island P. infestans isolates produced the Pi4B 213/217 bp, D13 134 bp, and PiG11 140/155 bp profile of P. infestans US-23 (1). These results show the presence of the P. infestans A1 and A2 mating types in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, which increases the probability of sexual recombination. To our knowledge, this is the first report of P. infestans clonal lineage US-23 causing late blight in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, increasing the genetic diversity from previous years in eastern Canada and underscoring the annual fluctuation occurring in the population composition.
References: (1) G. Danies et al. Plant Dis. 97:873, 2013. (2) S. B. Goodwin et al. Phytopathology 84:553, 1994. (3) C. H. Hu et al. Plant Dis. 96:1323, 2012. (4) M. L. Kalischuk et al. Plant Dis. 96:1729, 2012.
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