U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service, 1636 East Alisal St., Salinas, CA 93905
Rhizoctonia spp. were commonly recovered from the roots of strawberry plants growing in nonfumigated soil in the central coastal region of California. With the exception of one multinucleate isolate of R. solani (frequency of recovery of 0.8%), all other isolates were binucleate and were in anastomosis groups (AG) A, G, or I. AGs-A and -I were recovered from all five collection sites, whereas AG-G was recovered from only two sites. AG-A was the most commonly isolated AG, followed by AGs-I and -G. Similar levels of virulence were observed among the different AGs, but differences in virulence were observed among isolates in the same AG. Evaluating anastomosis grouping by pairing isolates recovered from strawberry with known tester isolates did not always yield a positive anastomosis reaction, even though both isolates anastomosed with other members of the same AG. Subsequent investigations with multiple isolates in the same AG from the same collection location confirmed that there was a lack of anastomosis or weak anastomosis reactions for some combinations of pairings, highlighting the need for to use multiple tester isolates or molecular techniques for AG determination. Restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis of a polymerase chain reaction-amplified region of the rDNA was effective for differentiating AGs. Sixteen RFLP groups were observed after cluster analysis with data for the size of the amplified products and fragment sizes after digestion with four restriction enzymes. Although each AG had isolates in multiple RFLP groups, any one individual RFLP group contained isolates of only a single AG. There was no consistent correlation between RFLP group and location of isolate collection.