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Genetic Analysis of Eutypa Strains from California Supports the Presence of Two Pathogenic Species

October 1999 , Volume 89 , Number  10
Pages  884 - 893

Richard A. DeScenzo , Stacia R. Engel , German Gomez , Erik L. Jackson , Gary P. Munkvold , Jennifer Weller , and Nancy A. Irelan

First, second, fourth, and seventh authors: Biotechnology Research Group, E. & J. Gallo Winery, Modesto, CA 95353; third author: Department of Immunology, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262; fifth author: Department of Plant Pathology, Iowa State University, Ames 50011; and sixth author: National Center for Genome Resources, Santa Fe, NM 87505

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Accepted for publication 2 July 1999.

Eutypa dieback is a perennial canker disease that adversely affects grape (Vitis vinifera) production throughout the world. The causal agent has been known as either Eutypa armeniacae or E. lata, and it has been unclear whether the two taxa are separate species. We analyzed 115 isolates of Eutypa and conspecific strains, including 106 from California, using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) and sequence analysis of the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequence. Strains from cultivated plant species exhibited an average genetic distance of 0.34, as calculated by the DICE coefficient (NTSYS-pc software). An unweighted pair-group method with arithmetic averages dendrogram revealed a genetically distinct (distance of 0.73) group of Eutypa strains from valley oak (Quercus lobata) and madrone (Arbutus menziesii) and a strain from grape. Analysis of rDNA ITS sequences strongly supported the genetically distinct cluster detected in the AFLP data. Combined data indicated the presence of two species of Eutypa (E. armeniacae and E. lata) in our sample population. However, both Eutypa species were capable of infecting native and cultivated hosts, suggesting the potential for native tree species to serve as inoculum sources for grape infection in California. Further investigations of E. armeniacae and E. lata would contribute to the development of a successful disease management strategy.

© 1999 The American Phytopathological Society