First and fifth authors: School of Agricultural Biotechnology, Seoul National University, Suwon 441-744, Korea; second author: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; third author: National Crop Experiment Station, Rural Development Administration, Suwon 441-100, Korea; and fourth author: Department of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park 16802
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Accepted for publication 30 May 2003.
Using isolates collected over 2 decades, we determined the population structure and dynamics of the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe grisea, in Korea at both the genotypic and phenotypic levels. Pathotype analysis on 6,315 isolates collected from 328 rice cultivars from 1981 to 2000 revealed the presence of a total of 91 pathotypes. Among these 91 patho-types, nine dominated, comprising 76.5% of the isolates. The expected number of pathotypes (corrected for sample size) increased significantly during the course of this study. On average, six (ranging from 0 to 20) new commercial cultivars were introduced annually between 1981 and 1998. However, the overall cultivar diversity, estimated using the Shannon index, was low. Most of the new cultivars were not planted to a large area because the seven most common cultivars each year occupied over 70% of the rice-cultivated area. The frequencies of the nine dominant patho-types from these seven cultivars were highly correlated with those from the entire set of cultivars. To understand genetic diversity within and between pathotypes, 176 isolates collected from 1984 to 1999 were randomly sampled and analyzed by DNA fingerprinting. High similarities were observed among isolates; overall similarities were greater than 63% in combined MGR586 and MAGGY DNA fingerprints. Unlike most other populations of M. grisea, DNA fingerprints showed no clear lineage structure. No groups were supported by bootstrap values greater than 10%. Furthermore, there was no significant correlation between DNA fingerprint similarities and pathotypes. Genetic similarity was significantly greater (P < 0.001) within years than between years, although the difference was small. Our data suggest that M. grisea populations in Korea have been mostly dominated by a single clonal lineage. We cannot conclude from these data that selection by the host population has been a major force in the evolution of M. grisea in Korea.
© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society