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Variability in Morphology and Aggressiveness Among North American Vegetative Compatibility Groups of Colletotrichum coccodes

August 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  8
Pages  901 - 909

A. M. Aqeel, J. S. Pasche, and N. C. Gudmestad

First, second, and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, North Dakota State University, Fargo 58105.

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Accepted for publication 30 March 2008.

North American isolates of Colletotrichum coccodes, representing six vegetative compatibility groups (NA-VCG), were used to study morphological and pathogenic variability. The objective was to determine if variability in conidial and microsclerotial size was related to pathogenicity. Significant differences were detected in length, width, and length/width ratios of conidia as well as in the length and width of microsclerotia among the NA-VCGs. The longest and widest conidia were produced by isolates belonging to NA-VCG1 and the largest microsclerotia were produced by isolates of NA-VCG2. Conidial and microsclerotial lengths and widths also were affected significantly by type of growth medium. There was no relationship between the size of conidia and the size of microsclerotia among the NA-VCGs studied. Conidial and microsclerotial size may affect inoculum potential and survival as isolates of NA-VCG2 have been demonstrated to occur more frequently than other NA-VCGs. Aggressiveness of 17 isolates of C. coccodes representing six NA-VCG's was studied on three potato cultivars using foliar and root inoculation methods. C. coccodes infection reduced tuber weight in all cultivars with both inoculation methods although tuber weight reductions were significantly higher following root inoculations than foliar inoculations. Pathogenic aggressiveness varied among NA-VCGs. Isolates belonging to NA-VCG2 and 3 were the least aggressive on potato foliage and isolates of NA-VCG1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 produced higher microsclerotial density on all three cultivars compared with isolates of NA-VCG6. Across inoculation methods, isolates of C. coccodes belonging to NA-VCG2 and 6 were the most aggressive based on reductions in tuber weight. Umatilla Russet was the most susceptible cultivar to C. coccodes compared to other cultivars regardless of inoculation method. These results demonstrate variability in morphology and pathogenic aggressiveness among the NA-VCGs of C. coccodes but these traits are not related.

Additional keywords:black dot, Solanum tuberosum.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society