First author: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pest Management Research Centre, 4902 Victoria Ave. N., P.O. Box 6000, Vineland Station, ON, Canada, L0R 2E0; and second author: Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada, N1G 2W1
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Accepted for publication 28 October 1996.
One hundred and thirty-two isolates of Sclerotinia homoeocarpa, the causal agent of dollar spot of turfgrass, were evaluated for virulence on swards and detached leaves of creeping bentgrass and for the presence of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). In at least four isolates, the hypovirulent phenotype was associated with the presence of specific segments of dsRNA. In addition, these hypovirulent isolates often grew slowly on potato dextrose agar (PDA), formed thin colonies with atypical colony margins, and failed to produce typical black stroma. The hypovirulent phenotype and dsRNA were transmitted from hypovirulent isolate Sh12B to virulent isolate Sh48B, and the converted isolate was hypovirulent and contained dsRNA. The hypovirulent phenotype and dsRNA also were transmitted to at least four other isolates of the pathogen, including the fungicide-resistant, dsRNA¯ isolate KY-7. Converted isolates of KY-7 developed the hypovirulent phenotype, grew on fungicide-amended medium, and contained dsRNA. Subcultures of hypovirulent isolate Sh12B that did not contain dsRNA were obtained through curative treatment using cycloheximide-containing medium and heat. Cured subcultures grew faster on PDA, had more typical colony morphologies, were more virulent on bentgrass leaves, and did not contain dsRNA. No cured subcultures were obtained from hypovirulent isolate Sh09B. Isolates regenerated from protoplasts of hypovirulent isolate Sh12B were not cured, remained hypovirulent, and contained dsRNA. Transmission of hypovirulence and dsRNA in S. homoeocarpa has potential as a novel approach to the management of dollar spot of turfgrass.
© 1997 Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Government of Canada