Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Nitrate-nonutilizing (nit) mutants are commonly used to determine vegetative compatibility between isolates of Verticillium dahliae by complementation (heterokaryon) testing. These mutants emerge spontaneously as chlorate-resistant sectors growing out of partially restricted, wild-type colonies on chlorate-amended media. The commonly used chlorate media are based on minimal medium (MMC) or cornmeal agar (CMC), amended with potassium chlorate. nit mutants recovered on these media constituted 10 to 36%(on MMC) and 25 to 45%(on CMC) of the apparently resistant sectors. An improved water agar chlorate medium (WAC) is described that is more effective for selecting chlorate-resistant nit mutants. WAC medium consists of agar (2%), glucose (0.02%), and potassium chlorate (2 to 5%). On WAC, growth of most V. dahliae isolates was strongly inhibited, and 66 to 100%(average >80%) of the chlorate-resistant sectors formed were nit mutants. Most mutants were characterized as nit1, and about 6% as NitM.