First, second, and sixth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506; and third, fourth, and fifth authors: Maize Section, Plant Pathology Research Institute, Agricultural Research Center, Giza, Egypt
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Accepted for publication 26 February 2003.
Cephalosporium maydis, the causal agent of late wilt of maize, was first described in Egypt in the 1960s, where it can cause yield losses of up to 40% in susceptible plantings. We characterized 866 isolates of C. maydis collected from 14 governates in Egypt, 7 in the Nile River Delta and 7 in southern (Middle and Upper) Egypt, with amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. The four AFLP primer-pair combinations generated 68 bands, 25 of which were polymorphic, resulting in 52 clonal haplotypes that clustered the 866 isolates into four phylogenetic lineages. Three lineages were found in both the Nile River Delta and southern Egypt. Lineage IV, the most diverse group (20 haplotypes), was recovered only from governates in the Nile River Delta. In some locations, one lineage dominated (up to 98% of the isolates recovered) and, from some fields, only a single haplotype was recovered. Under field conditions in Egypt, there is no evidence that C. maydis reproduces sexually. The nonuniform geographic distribution of the pathogen lineages within the country could be due to differences in climate or in the farming system, because host material differs in susceptibility and C. maydis lineages differ in pathogenicity.
© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society