First author: Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center, Wenatchee 98801; and second and third authors: University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Dover 33527
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Accepted for publication 20 January 2004.
Colletotrichum crown rot of strawberry in Florida is caused primarily by Colletotrichum gloeosporioides. To determine potential inoculum sources, isolates of Colletotrichum spp. from strawberry and various noncultivated plants growing in the areas adjacent to strawberry fields were collected from different sites. Species-specific internal transcribed spacer primers for C. gloeosporioides and C. acutatum were used to identify isolates to species. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers were used to determine genetic relationships among isolates recovered from noncultivated hosts and diseased strawberry plants. Selected isolates also were tested for pathogenicity on strawberry plants in the greenhouse. In all, 39 C. gloeosporioides and 3 C. acutatum isolates were recovered from diseased strawberry crowns, and 52 C. gloeosporioides and 1 C. acutatum isolate were recovered from noncultivated hosts. In crown inoculation tests, 18 of the 52 C. gloeosporioides isolates recovered from noncultivated hosts were pathogenic to strawberry. Phylogenetic analysis using RAPD marker data divided isolates of C. gloeosporioides from noncultivated hosts into two separate clusters. One cluster contained 50 of the 52 isolates and a second cluster contained 2 isolates that were homothallic in culture. Isolates from strawberry were interspersed within the cluster containing the 50 isolates that were recovered from noncultivated hosts. The results are not inconsistent with the hypothesis that C. gloeosporioides isolates obtained from strawberry and noncultivated hosts adjacent to strawberry fields are from the same population and that noncultivated hosts can serve as potential inoculum sources for Colletotrichum crown rot of strawberry.
© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society