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An Isolate of Alternaria alternata That Is Pathogenic to Both Tangerines and Rough Lemon and Produces Two Host-Selective Toxins, ACT- and ACR-Toxins

March 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  3
Pages  241 - 247

A. Masunaka , K. Ohtani , T. L. Peever , L. W. Timmer , T. Tsuge , M. Yamamoto , H. Yamamoto , and K. Akimitsu

First, second, seventh, and eighth authors: United Graduate School and Faculty of Agriculture, Kagawa University, Miki, Kagawa 761-0795, Japan; third author: Department of Plant Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman 99164; fourth author: University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Citrus Research and Education Center, Lake Alfred 33850; fifth author: Graduate School of Bioagricultural Sciences, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya 464-8601, Japan; and sixth author: Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama University, Okayama 700-8530, Japan

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Accepted for publication 3 November 2004.

Two different pathotypes of Alternaria alternata cause Alternaria brown spot of tangerines and Alternaria leaf spot of rough lemon. The former produces the host-selective ACT-toxin and the latter produces ACR-toxin. Both pathogens induce similar symptoms on leaves or young fruits of their respective hosts, but the host ranges of these pathogens are distinct and one pathogen can be easily distinguished from another by comparing host ranges. We isolated strain BC3-5-1-OS2A from a leaf spot on rough lemon in Florida, and this isolate is pathogenic on both cv. Iyokan tangor and rough lemon and also produces both ACT-toxin and ACR-toxin. Isolate BC3-5-1-OS2A carries both genomic regions, one of which was known only to be present in ACT-toxin producers and the other was known to exist only in ACR-toxin producers. Each of the genomic regions is present on distinct small chromosomes, one of 1.05 Mb and the other of 2.0 Mb. Alternaria species have no known sexual or parasexual cycle in nature and populations of A. alternata on citrus are clonal. Therefore, the ability to produce both toxins was not likely acquired through meiotic or mitotic recombination. We hypothesize that a dispensable chromosome carrying the gene cluster controlling biosynthesis of one of the host-selective toxins was transferred horizontally and rearranged by duplication or translocation in another isolate of the fungus carrying genes for biosynthesis of the other host-selective toxin.

Additional keyword: anastomosis .

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society