Department of Entomology, Soils, and Plant Sciences, 120 Long Hall, Clemson University, Clemson, SC 29634
The fitness and the dynamics of demethylation inhibitor fungicide (DMI) sensitivity in isolates of Monilinia fructicola sensitive (no growth at 0.3 mg/liter propiconazole) and resistant (≥50% relative growth at 0.3 mg/liter propiconazole) to propiconazole were investigated. Overall, there was no considerable compromise in the fitness of resistant isolates compared to sensitive isolates of M. fructicola at the time of collection. Resistant and sensitive isolates differed in their sensitivity to propiconazole (P < 0.001) and incubation period (P = 0.044), but not in latent period, growth rate, spore production, and spore germination frequency (P > 0.05). Consecutive transferring on potato dextrose agar had an impact on conidia production, conidial germination, and growth rate (P < 0.0001). Consecutive transferring also had an impact on propiconazole sensitivity in resistant isolates. In the resistant isolates, sensitivity to propiconazole increased (R2 = 0.960, P = 0.0034) within the first eight transfers. Similarly, sensitivity to propiconazole increased by 273% over the course of 34 months in cold storage in propiconazole-resistant isolates. Our results show that propiconazole resistance is unstable in vitro and that standard subculturing and cold storage procedures impact propiconazole sensitivity of resistant isolates. The instability of propiconazole resistance in M. fructicola may have important implications for disease management in that a reversion to propiconazole sensitivity could potentially occur in the absence of DMI fungicide pressure in the field.