First, second, fourth, and fifth authors: Université Blaise Pascal, 24 Avenue des Landais, F63177 Aubière cedex, France; and third and sixth authors: INRA, Domaine de Crouelle, F63039 Clermont-Ferrand cedex 2, France
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Accepted for publication 28 November 2001.
Diaporthe/Phomopsis helianthi causes brown stem canker of sunflower (Helianthus annuus) and is responsible for considerable yield loss. This species shows considerable variation for morphological characters, growth, and pathogenicity. Molecular variability of two sample groups was assessed with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Isolates of the first sample were collected from infected sunflower tissues from the main regions in France where the crop is grown, whereas isolates from the second sample came from stems within a single field of sunflower. A soybean strain was taken as an outgroup for AFLP analyses. Within sample one, the greatest genetic distance among isolates was 0.97, whereas it was 0.44 within sample two isolates. For the whole of France, the average genetic distance was 0.68, whereas in the one field it was 0.12. Nei's genetic diversity indices were 0.20 and 0.06 for France and for one field, respectively. The greatest genetic distance was found between isolates from the most northern crops. The greatest genetic distance between D. helianthi isolates and the strain isolated from soybean was similar to that observed for D. helianthi isolates from different geographical areas. The problems in defining the genus Phomopsis are discussed. It is shown that internal transcribed spacer sequencing could be a useful criteria for Diaporthe/Phomopsis species determination. The considerable genetic variability of the pathogen could lead to the occurrence of new strains that could be more aggressive or more resistant to chemical control.
internal transcribed spacer intraspecific variability.
The American Phytopathological Society, 2002