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The Genetic Structure of Australian Populations of Mycosphaerella musicola Suggests Restricted Gene Flow at the Continental Scale

May 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  5
Pages  489 - 498

H. L. Hayden , J. Carlier , and E. A. B. Aitken

First and third authors: Cooperative Research Centre for Tropical Plant Protection and Botany Department, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia; and second author: UMR 385 Biologie et Génétique des Interactions Plante-Parasite, CIRAD, TA 40/02, Avenue d'Agropolis, 34398, Montpellier, France

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Accepted for publication 7 January 2005.

Mycosphaerella musicola causes Sigatoka disease of banana and is endemic to Australia. The population genetic structure of M. musicola in Australia was examined by applying single-copy restriction fragment length polymorphism probes to hierarchically sampled populations collected along the Australian east coast. The 363 isolates studied were from 16 plantations at 12 sites in four different regions, and comprised 11 populations. These populations displayed moderate levels of gene diversity (H = 0.142 to 0.369) and similar levels of genotypic richness and evenness. Populations were dominated by unique genotypes, but isolates sharing the same genotype (putative clones) were detected. Genotype distribution was highly localized within each population, and the majority of putative clones were detected for isolates sampled from different sporodochia in the same lesion or different lesions on a plant. Multilocus gametic disequilibrium tests provided further evidence of a degree of clonality within the populations at the plant scale. A complex pattern of population differentiation was detected for M. musicola in Australia. Populations sampled from plantations outside the two major production areas were genetically very different to all other populations. Differentiation was much lower between populations of the two major production areas, despite their geographic separation of over 1,000 km. These results suggest low gene flow at the continental scale due to limited spore dispersal and the movement of infected plant material.

Additional keywords: banana , population genetics , Sigatoka disease .

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society