Link to home

Genetic Structure of Phaeosphaeria nodorum Populations in the North-Central and Midwestern United States

January 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  1
Pages  101 - 107

T. B. Adhikari, S. Ali, R. R. Burlakoti, P. K. Singh, M. Mergoum, and S. B. Goodwin

First, second, and third authors: 306 Walster Hall, Department of Plant Pathology, fourth and fifth authors: 166 Loftsgard Hall, Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND 58105; sixth author: Crop Production and Pest Control Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, 915 West State Street, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054.

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 13 August 2007.

Stagonospora nodorum blotch, caused by Phaeosphaeria nodorum, is considered one of the most destructive foliar diseases of wheat in the United States. However, relatively little is known about the population biology of this fungus in the major wheat-growing regions of the central United States. To rectify this situation, 308 single-spore isolates of P. nodorum were analyzed from 12 populations, five from hard red spring wheat cultivars in Minnesota and North Dakota and seven from soft red winter wheat in Indiana and Ohio. The genetic structure of the sampled populations was determined by analyzing polymorphisms at five microsatellite or simple-sequence repeat (SSR) loci and the mating type locus. Although a few clones were identified, most P. nodorum populations had high levels of gene (HS = 0.175 to 0.519) and genotype (D = 0.600 to 0.972) diversity. Gene diversity was higher among isolates collected from spring wheat cultivars in North Dakota and Minnesota (mean HS = 0.503) than in those from winter wheat cultivars in Indiana and Ohio (HS = 0.269). Analyses of clone-corrected data sets showed equal frequencies of both mating types in both regional and local populations, indicating that sexual recombination may occur regularly. However, significant gametic disequilibrium occurred in three of the four populations from North Dakota, and there was genetic differentiation both within and among locations. Genetic differentiation between the hard red spring and soft red winter wheat production regions was moderate (FST = 0.168), but whether this is due to differences in wheat production or to geographical variation cannot be determined. These results suggest that sexual reproduction occurs in P. nodorum populations in the major wheat-growing regions of the central United States, and that geographically separated populations can be genetically differentiated, reflecting either restrictions on gene flow or selection.

Additional keywords:genetic diversity, population genetics, multilocus analysis, Septoria nodorum.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society