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Population genetics of the fungal pathogen Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi in blueberry fields throughout the United States.
K. M. BURCHHARDT (1), M. A. Cubeta (1). (1) North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, U.S.A.

<i>Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi</i> (Mvc) is an economically important pathogen of blueberry (<i>Vaccinium</i> spp.) that causes mummy berry disease, resulting in yield loss by mummification of infected fruit (“mummies”). The fungus overwinters inside mummies and in early spring produces sexual spores that infect blueberry shoots and cause blighting. Blighted shoots form asexual spores that are disseminated by bees to the flower and infect the ovary through the gynoecial pathway. Long-term disease management strategies require information about the spread and evolution of pathogen populations, however little is known about the population dynamics of Mvc. The primary objective of this study was to utilize microsatellite-based genetic markers to examine intraspecific genetic diversity, population structure, and gene flow among populations of Mvc throughout blueberry growing regions of the United States. In this study, 438 isolates of Mvc sampled from 15 blueberry fields in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Georgia, Mississippi, Oregon, Washington, Michigan, and North Carolina were screened with 10 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Results based on analyzing a geographically diverse subsample of 55 isolates from six fields indicate high intraspecific genetic diversity. Forty-eight private alleles were detected across the 10 loci, providing evidence for population differentiation. Results from population genetic analyses of a more comprehensive dataset of 438 isolates will be presented.<p><p>Keywords: Fungus, Fruits-Nuts

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