Link to home

Sequence and Simple-Sequence Repeat Analyses of the Fungal Pathogen Seiridium cardinale Indicate California Is the Most Likely Source of the Cypress Canker Epidemic for the Mediterranean Region

December 2011 , Volume 101 , Number  12
Pages  1,408 - 1,417

G. Della Rocca, C. A. Eyre, R. Danti, and M. Garbelotto

First author: Fondazione Edmund Mach–Istituto Agrario di san Michele all'Adige, via E. Mach, 38010 San Michele all'Adige (TN), Italy; first and third authors: Institute for Plant Protection–CNR, Via Madonna del Piano 10, I-50019, Sesto Fiorentino (FI), Italy; and second and fourth authors: Department of ESPM, 137 Mulford Hall, University of California, Berkeley 94720.

Go to article:
Accepted for publication 3 August 2011.

Seiridium cardinale is the pathogenic fungus of unknown origin responsible for a world pandemic known as cypress canker affecting several species of Cupressaceae in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. In this study, a comparative genetic analysis of worldwide populations was performed using sequence analysis of a portion of the β-tubulin locus and seven polymorphic simple-sequence repeat (SSR) loci on 96 isolates. Sequence analysis identified two distinct β-tubulin alleles, both present in California. Only one of the two alleles was detected in the Mediterranean basin, while two isolates from the Southern Hemisphere were characterized by the presence of the allele absent from the Mediterranean. SSRs identified a total of 46 multilocus genotypes (MGs): genotypic diversity was always higher in the California population, and calculations of the index of association (IA) determined the presence of linkage disequilibrium associated with the absence of sexual reproduction only in the Mediterranean population but not in California. In 50 instances, the same MG was found at great geographic distances, implying a role played by humans in spreading the disease. Network analysis performed on SSR data identified three clusters of MGs: California, Morocco, and the rest of the Mediterranean. Both the Morocco and the Mediterranean clusters were linked to the California cluster. Coalescent analysis identified insignificant migration between California and Italy, as expected in the presence of a single introduction event, and very high migration from Italy into Greece, as expected of an outbreak still in exponential growth phase and starting from an Italian source.

Additional keywords: coalescent analysis, Cupressus, genetic diversity, microsatellite, network analysis

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society