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Isolates of Verticillium dahliae Pathogenic to Crucifers Are of at Least Three Distinct Molecular Types

March 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  3
Pages  364 - 376

Alex Collins , C. Ada N. Okoli , Anne Morton , David Parry , Simon G. Edwards , and Dez J. Barbara

First, third, and sixth authors: Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne, Warwickshire, CV35 9EF, UK; second and fourth authors: Entomology and Plant Pathology, Horticulture Research International, East Malling, West Malling, Kent ME19 6BJ, UK; and fifth author: Harper Adams University College, Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB, UK

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Accepted for publication 21 October 2002.

Diverse isolates of the soilborne wilt fungi Verticillium dahliae and V. albo-atrum were studied to understand the nature and origins of those infecting cruciferous hosts. All isolates from cruciferous crops produced microsclerotia, and the majority produced long conidia with a high nuclear DNA content; these isolates were divided into two groups by amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) analysis. One group could be subdivided by other criteria such as rRNA sequences and mitochondrial DNA restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis. Two crucifer isolates were short spored and had a low nuclear DNA content. The results are consistent with the crucifer isolates being interspecific hybrids. The long-spored isolates are best regarded as amphihaploids (or allodiploids) with the AFLP groups probably each representing separate interspecific hybridization events. The short-spored crucifer isolates appear to be derived from interspecific hybrids and are here called ‘secondary haploids’. Molecular evidence suggests that one parent in the crosses was similar to V. dahliae. The other parent of the amphihaploids seems to have been more similar to V. albo-atrum than to V. dahliae, but was distinct from all isolates of either species so far studied. The implications for the taxonomy of crucifer isolates are discussed and the use of the name V. longisporum, proposed elsewhere for just some of these isolates, is discouraged.

Additional keywords: interspecific hybrids, vascular wilts.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society