Washington State University, Pullman 99164-6430.
In total, 286 Verticillium dahliae isolates from mint, potato, and other hosts and substrates were characterized for mating type, vegetative compatibility group (VCG), and multilocus microsatellite haplotype to determine population genetic structure among populations infecting mint and potato. Populations from mint and potato fit a clonal reproductive model, with all isolates a single mating type (MAT1-2) and multiple occurrences of the same haplotypes. Haplotype H02 represented 88% of mint isolates and was primarily VCG2B, while haplotype H04 represented 70% of potato isolates and was primarily VCG4A. Haplotypes H02 and H04 typically caused severe disease on mint and potato, respectively, in greenhouse assays regardless of host origin. Principal coordinate analysis and analysis of molecular variance indicated that mint and potato populations were significantly genetically diverged (P = 0.02), and identification of private alleles and estimation of migration rates suggested restricted gene flow. Migration was detected between infected potato plants and seed tubers, infested tare soil, and field soils. Genetic differentiation of V. dahliae from mint and potato may be due to the occurrence of a single mating type and differences in VCG. Populations of V. dahliae in potato and mint were characterized by the presence of aggressive, clonally reproducing haplotypes which are widely distributed in commercial mint and potato production.