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Host Range Specificity in Verticillium dahliae

December 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  12
Pages  1,218 - 1,225

R. G. Bhat and K. V. Subbarao

Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis, c/o U.S. Agricultural Research Station, Salinas, CA 93905

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Accepted for publication 7 September 1999.

Verticillium dahliae isolates from artichoke, bell pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, chili pepper, cotton, eggplant, lettuce, mint, potato, strawberry, tomato, and watermelon and V. albo-atrum from alfalfa were evaluated for their pathogenicity on all 14 hosts. One-month-old seedlings were inoculated with a spore suspension of about 107 conidia per ml using a root-dip technique and incubated in the greenhouse. Disease incidence and severity, plant height, and root and shoot dry weights were recorded 6 weeks after inoculation. Bell pepper, cabbage, cauliflower, cotton, eggplant, and mint isolates exhibited host specificity and differential pathogenicity on other hosts, whereas isolates from artichoke, lettuce, potato, strawberry, tomato, and watermelon did not. Bell pepper was resistant to all Verticillium isolates except isolates from bell pepper and eggplant. Thus, host specificity exists in some isolates of V. dahliae. The same isolates were characterized for vegetative compatibility groups (VCGs) through complementation of nitrate nonutilizing (nit) mutants. Cabbage and cauliflower isolates did not produce nit mutants. The isolate from cotton belonged to VCG 1; isolates from bell pepper, eggplant, potato, and tomato, to VCG 4; and the remaining isolates, to VCG 2. These isolates were also analyzed using the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) method. Forty random primers were screened, and eighteen of them amplified DNA from Verticillium. Based on RAPD banding patterns, cabbage and cauliflower isolates formed a unique group, distinct from other V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum groups. Minor genetic variations were observed among V. dahliae isolates from other hosts, regardless of whether they were host specific or not. There was no correlation among pathogenicity, VCGs, and RAPD banding patterns. Even though the isolates belonged to different VCGs, they shared similar RAPD profiles. These results suggest that management of Verticillium wilt in some crops through crop rotation is a distinct possibility.

Additional keywords: neutral molecular markers, vegetable crops.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society