Department of Plant Pathology, Plant Science Building, 1405 Veteran's Road, University of Kentucky, Lexington 40546
Gray leaf spot caused by Pyricularia grisea is a highly destructive disease of perennial ryegrass turf. Control of gray leaf spot is dependent on the use of preventative fungicide treatments. Strobilurin-based (QoI) fungicides, which inhibit the cytochrome bc1 respiratory complex, have proven to be very effective against gray leaf spot. However, in August 2000, disease was diagnosed in QoI-treated perennial ryegrass turf on golf courses in Lexington, KY, Champaign, IL, and Bloomington, IL. To determine if resistance was due to a mutation in the fungicide target, the cytochrome b gene (CYTB) was amplified from baseline and resistant isolates. Nucleotide sequence analysis revealed an intronless coding region of 1,179 bp. Isolates that were resistant to QoI fungicides possessed one of two different mutant alleles, each of which carried a single point mutation. The first mutant allele had a guanine-to-cytosine transition at nucleotide position +428, resulting in a replacement of glycine 143 by alanine (G143A). Mutant allele two exhibited a cytosine-to-adenine transversion at position +387, causing a phenylalanine-to-leucine change (F129L). Cleavable amplified polymorphic sequence analysis revealed that neither mutation was present in a collection of baseline isolates collected before QoI fungicide use and indicated that suspected QoI- resistant isolates found in 2001 in Indiana and Maryland possessed the F129L mutation. The Pyricularia grisea isolates possessing the G143A substitution were significantly more resistant to azoxystrobin and trifloxystrobin, in vitro, than those having F129L. DNA fingerprinting of resistant isolates revealed that the mutations occurred in just five genetic backgrounds, suggesting that field resistance to the QoI fungicides in Pyricularia grisea is due to a small number of ancestral mutations.