Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58105.
The genetic structure of Septoria passerinii from nine field populations was examined at several scales (within lesions, among lesions in a leaf, among leaves in a field, and among fields in North Dakota and western Minnesota) by using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. A total of 390 isolates were sampled from seven barley fields located in North Dakota and two barley fields located nearby in western Minnesota in 2003 and 2004. Based on 57 polymorphic AFLP markers, AFLP DNA fingerprints identified 176 different genotypes among 390 (non-clone-corrected) isolates in nine different fields. In two intensively sampled sites, ND16 (Williston, ND) and ND17 (Langdon, ND), only one to four different genotypes were found within a lesion. A higher level of genetic and genotypic diversity was found within a leaf in which six to nine different genotypes were found from lesions on a leaf. The genetic diversity within a leaf was similar to the genetic diversity within a field. The average genetic diversity (H) within a field across all AFLP loci was approximately 0.3, except at site ND12 (Carrington, ND) where it was 0.16. Genotypic diversity was high in all populations, and with the exception of ND15 (Rothsay, MN), very low multilocus linkage disequilibrium values ( rd) were found in all populations. The population differentiation, GST, was relatively high (GST = 0.238) among the nine populations due to the high GST in ND12, ND14 (Twin Valley, MN), and ND15. Population differentiation without those three populations was 0.09. A lack of correlation between geographical distance and genetic distance was found, suggesting the potential for a high level of gene flow between different geographical regions. The population genetic structure described in this study for S. passerinii in North Dakota and western Minnesota is consistent with that of a sexually reproducing fungus.