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Biological and Phylogenetic Characterization of Fusarium oxysporum Complex, Which Causes Yellows on Brassica spp., and Proposal of F. oxysporum f. sp. rapae, a Novel Forma Specialis Pathogenic on B. rapa in Japan

April 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  4
Pages  475 - 483

J. Enya, M. Togawa, T. Takeuchi, S. Yoshida, S. Tsushima, T. Arie, and T. Sakai

First and seventh authors: Research and Development Division, Mikado Kyowa Seed Co., Ltd., 377 Ozawa, Chonan-machi, Chosei-gun, Chiba 297-0142, Japan; second author: Plant Protection Staff, Shizuoka Prefectural Research Institute of Agriculture and Forestry, 678-1 Tomigaoka, Iwata, Shizuoka 438-0803, Japan; third author: Plant Pathology Laboratory, Chiba Prefectural Agriculture Research Center, 808 Daizenno-cho, Midori-ku, Chiba, Chiba 266-0006, Japan; fourth and fifth authors: Environmental Biofunction Division, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences, 3-1-3 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8604, Japan; and sixth author: Laboratory of Plant Pathology, Faculty of Agriculture, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology, 3-5-8 Saiwai-cho, Fuchu, Tokyo 183-8509, Japan.

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Accepted for publication 26 October 2007.

Although the causal agent of yellows of Brassica rapa (turnip, pak choi, and narinosa) in Japan was reported in 1996 to be Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. conglutinans, this classification has remained inconclusive because of a lack of detailed genetic and pathogenic studies. Therefore, we analyzed the taxonomic position of this organism using Japanese isolates of F. oxysporum complex obtained from diseased individuals of various B. rapa subspecies. Phylogenetic analyses using partial sequences of the rDNA intergenic spacer region and the mating-type gene (MAT1-1-1α-box) showed that B. rapa and cabbage isolates belong to different monophyletic clades that separated at early evolutionary stages. Additionally, correlations were observed between the molecular phylogeny and the vegetative compatibility groups. Isolates from turnip, komatsuna, and narinosa (B. rapa group) did not show pathogenicity against cabbage or broccoli (B. oleracea group), although they caused severe symptoms on their original host species. In contrast, cabbage isolates had significantly higher (P = 0.05) virulence on B. oleracea than on B. rapa crops. Our results indicate that F. oxysporum complex isolates from B. rapa and B. oleracea are not only phylogenetically distinct but also differ in host specificity. Therefore, we propose a novel forma specialis, F. oxysporum f. sp. rapae, which causes yellows on B. rapa, including turnip, komatsuna, pak choi, and narinosa.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society