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Morphologic, Molecular, and Pathogenic Characterization of Diaporthe phaseolorum Variability in the Core Soybean-Producing Area of Argentina

February 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  2
Pages  136 - 146

Rosanna N. Pioli , Eligio N. Morandi , María C. Martínez , Florencia Lucca , Alejandro Tozzini , Vilma Bisaro , and H. Esteban Hopp

First, second, and sixth authors: Fitopatología, Fisiología Vegetal and Estadística, Facultad de Ciencias Agrarias, Universidad Nacional de Rosario, P.O. Box 14, 52125 Zavalla, Santa Fe, Argentina; and third, fourth, fifth, and seventh authors: Instituto de Biotecnología, CICVA, INTA, P.O. Box 25, B1712 Castelar, Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Accepted for publication 4 September 2002.

Isolates of the Diaporthe/Phomopsis (D/P) complex were collected in the main soybean producing area of Argentina during the 1996-97, 1997-98, and 1998-99 growing seasons. Twenty-three morphologic characters related to type of colonies, stroma, pycnidia and conidia, presence of perithecia, and asci length were studied by principal component analysis (PCA). Genomic DNA were analyzed by the random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) technique. From both studies, 18 isolates were identified as D/P complex and grouped in four major taxa: (i) Diaporthe phaseolorum var. meridionalis, (ii) D. phaseolorum var. caulivora, (iii) D. phaseolorum var. sojae, and (iv) Phomopsis longicolla. In addition to distinguishing interspecific and intraspecific variability, molecular markers allowed the detection of differences among isolates within the same variety. Pathogenicity was assayed in the greenhouse, by the toothpick method, inoculating the D/P isolates to soybean genotypes carrying different resistance genes (Rdc1, Rdc2, Rdc3, and Rdc4) against soybean stem canker (SSC). Pathogenic analysis distinguished two main groups: (i) the SSC-producing isolates, including D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis and D. phaseolorum var. caulivora, and (ii) the non-SSC-producing isolates, including D. phaseolorum var. sojae and P. longicolla. Cultivar RA-702 (susceptible control) was compatible with both D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis and D. phaseolorum var. caulivora isolates; meanwhile, Tracy-M (Rdc1 and Rdc 2 genes) was incompatible with D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis but compatible with D. phaseolorum var. caulivora isolates. The fact that Rdc1 and Rdc2 together (as in Tracy-M) confer an almost immune reaction to all assayed isolates of D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis but were ineffective against the D. phaseolorum var. caulivora isolates evaluated suggests that the virulence or avirulence genes in D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis and D. phaseolorum var. caulivora are different. Moreover, physiological races of D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis were detected by using differential soybean genotypes carrying distinct single Rdc genes. As far as we know, this is the first report on the existence of physiological races of D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis in South America. Selective pressure due to deployment of resistant host cultivars may have changed the frequency of the virulence or avirulence genes within the population of D. phaseolorum var. meridionalis. On the whole, our results show that pathogenic variability of D. phaseolorum in the core soybean-producing area of Argentina is higher than previously recognized.

Additional keywords: Glycine max , plant-fungus interaction, pod and stem blight, seed decay, soybean stem canker.

The American Phytopathological Society, 2003