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Population Structure of Fusarium fujikuroi from California Rice and Water Grass

September 2008 , Volume 98 , Number  9
Pages  992 - 998

L. L. A. Carter, J. F. Leslie, and R. K. Webster

First and second authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Throckmorton Plant Sciences Center, Kansas State University, Manhattan 66506-5502; and first and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California at Davis, Davis 95616.

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Accepted for publication 17 April 2008.

The recent observance of Fusarium fujikuroi, the causal agent of Bakanae disease of rice, in California provides a unique opportunity to assess the population diversity of an introduced pathogen in a new environment. We collected 172 isolates of this pathogen between 2000 and 2003 from California rice and two from water grass (Echinochloa spp.). Pathogenicity of F. fujikuroi was demonstrated on early water grass (E. oryzoides) and barnyard grass (E. crus-galli) indicating that weed control should be part of Bakanae management programs. Both mating types and six unique amplified fragment length polymorphism haplotypes corresponding to six identified vegetative compatibility groups were detected. The two most frequently isolated haplotypes encompassed 94% of the collected isolates, suggesting that clonal reproduction dominates. Coefficients of similarity between the unique haplotypes ranged from 0.94 to 0.98, and indicate that there is very little genotypic variation in the F. fujikuroi population in California. The near fixation of the MAT-1 idiomorph (observed ratio 170 MAT-1:4 MAT-2), is consistent with a hypothesis of predominant or exclusive asexual reproduction. The low level of introduced genotypic diversity, in conjunction with the asexual reproductive strategy of this population will slow evolutionary processes, including adaptation to the California environment.

© 2008 The American Phytopathological Society