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Region-Wide Analysis of Genetic Diversity in Verticillium dahliae Populations Infecting Olive in Southern Spain and Agricultural Factors Influencing the Distribution and Prevalence of Vegetative Compatibility Groups and Pathotypes

March 2011 , Volume 101 , Number  3
Pages  304 - 315

Rafael M. Jiménez-Díaz, Concepción Olivares-García, Blanca B. Landa, María del Mar Jiménez-Gasco, and Juan A. Navas-Cortés

First and second authors: Escuela Técnica Superior de Ingenieros Agrónomos y Montes, Universidad de Córdoba, Edificio C-4 ‘Celestino Mutis’, Campus de Rabanales, Ctra. Madrid-Cádiz, km 396, 14071 Córdoba, Spain and Instituto de Agricultura Sostenible (IAS), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Apartado 4084, 14080 Córdoba, Spain; third and fifth authors: IAS-CSIC; and fourth author: Department of Plant Pathology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802.

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Accepted for publication 6 October 2010.

Severity of Verticillium wilt in olive trees in Andalusia, southern Spain is associated with the spread of a highly virulent, defoliating (D) Verticillium dahliae pathotype of vegetative compatibility group 1A (VCG1A) but the extent of this spread and the diversity of the pathogen population have never been documented. VCG typing of 637 V. dahliae isolates from 433 trees in 65 orchards from five olive-growing provinces in Andalusia indicated that 78.1% were of VCG1A, 19.8% of VCG2A, 0.6% of VCG2B, 1.4% of VCG4B, and one isolate was heterokaryon self-incompatible. A single VCG prevailed among isolates within most orchards but two and three VCGs were identified in 12 and 3 orchards, respectively, with VCG1A+VCG2A occurring in 10 orchards. VCG1A was the predominant VCG in the three most important olive-growing provinces, and was almost as prevalent as VCG2A in another one. Molecular pathotyping of the 637 isolates using specific polymerase chain reaction assays indicated that VCG1A isolates were of the D pathotype whereas isolates of VCG2A, -2B, and -4B were of the less virulent nondefoliating (ND) pathotype. The pathotype of isolates correlated with the disease syndrome affecting sampled trees. Only three (seq1, seq2, and seq4) of the seven known sequences of the V. dahliae-specific 539- or 523-bp amplicon were identified among the 637 isolates. Distribution and prevalence of VCGs and seq sequences among orchards indicated that genetic diversity within olive V. dahliae in Andalusia is higher in provinces where VCG1A is not prevalent. Log-linear analysis revealed that irrigation management, source of irrigation water, source of planting stock, and cropping history of soil were significantly associated with the prevalence of VCG1A compared with that of VCG2A. Multivariate analyses using a selected set of agricultural factors as variables allowed development of a discriminant model for predicting the occurrence of D and ND pathotypes in the area of the study. Blind tests using this model correctly indentified the V. dahliae pathotype occurring in an orchard. The widespread occurrence and high prevalence of VCG1A/D pathotype in Andalusia have strong implications for the management of the disease.

Additional keywords: discriminant analysis, DNA sequencing, molecular markers, Olea europaea, soil type.

© 2011 The American Phytopathological Society