First and third authors: Department of Life Sciences, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel; and first, second, and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Agricultural Research Organization, Gilat Experiment Station, M.P. Negev, 85280, Israel
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Accepted for publication 8 April 2002.
Black dot of potato, caused by Colletotrichum coccodes, is a disease of growing economic importance, but the degree of genetic diversity and pathogenic differentiation among isolates is unknown. Using nitrate auxotrophic (Nit) mutants, we characterized vegetative compatibility groups (VCG) diversity for C. coccodes for 110 isolates originating from Israel, The Netherlands, and France. We recovered frequencies of nit1 and NitM mutant classes at 38.5 and 7.2%, respectively, and selected 12 isolates as tester isolates. Using these testers, we defined four multimember VCGs at 7.3, 35.5, 20.0, and 10.0% frequency in this sample. Thirty isolates (27.3% of all tested isolates) could not be assigned to any of the major groups, and showed only self-compatibility. The frequency of recovery of Nit mutant sectors was highest in isolates from VCG4, with 50.9 and 13.6% recovery for nit1 and NitM, respectively. However, we did not detect differences in the frequency of mutant classes among the three countries of origin. In pathogenicity tests, isolates from VCG3 were the most aggressive to potato, as expressed by high stem colonization levels and sclerotia density on root and crown. These results suggest that there is significant VCG diversity in this species and that this VCG diversity may be correlated with pathogenic characteristics or specialization.
© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society