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Sensitivity to Protectant Fungicides and Pathogenic Fitness of Clonal Lineages of Phytophthora infestans in the United States

September 1997 , Volume 87 , Number  9
Pages  973 - 978

Masayasu Kato , Eduardo S. Mizubuti , Stephen B. Goodwin , and William E. Fry

First author: Hokkaido National Agricultural Experiment Station, Sapporo 062 Japan; second and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; and third author: ARS-USDA, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, 1155 Lilly Hall, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907

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Accepted for publication 20 June 1997.

Since 1991, dramatic changes have occurred in the genetic composition of populations of Phytophthora infestans in the United States. Clonal lineages recently introduced into the United States (US-7 and US-8) are more common now than the previously dominant lineage (US-1). To help determine why these changes occurred, four clonal lineages of P. in-festans common during the early 1990s in the United States and Canada were evaluated for sensitivity to the protectant fungicides mancozeb and chlorothalonil using amended agar assays for isolates collected from 1990 to 1994. No isolate or lineage was resistant to either mancozeb or chlorothalonil. There were significant differences among isolates for degree of sensitivity to one fungicide individually, but there were no significant (P = 0.05) differences among the US-1, US-6, US-7, and US-8 clonal lineages for degree of sensitivity to both fungicides. Therefore, resistance to protectant fungicides cannot explain the rapid increase in frequency of the US-7 and US-8 clonal lineages. Three components of pathogenic fitness (latent period, lesion area, and sporulation after 96 h) were tested for the three clonal lineages that were detected most commonly during 1994 (US-1, US-7, and US-8). All but one of the isolates in this analysis were collected during 1994 and evaluated within 10 months of collection by inoculating detached leaflets of the susceptible potato cultivar Norchip. There were significant differences between the US-1 and US-8 clonal lineages for lesion area and sporulation, and between US-1 and US-7 for latent period. The US-6 clonal lineage was excluded from the pathogenic fitness experiments, because no isolates of this lineage were collected during 1994. Compared with US-7 and US-8, US-1 had the longest latent period and the smallest lesions with the least sporulation. Incorporation of the differences between US-1 and US-8 in computer simulation experiments revealed that significantly more protectant fungicide (e.g., 25%) would be required to suppress epidemics caused by the US-8 clonal lineage compared with US-1. These differences in pathogenic fitness components probably contribute to the general predominance of the “new” clonal lineages (especially US-8) relative to the “old” US-1 lineage.

Additional keywords: fungicide resistance, late blight, pathogen migration, population genetics.

The American Phytopathological Society, 1997