United States Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Sugar Beet Research Unit, 1701 Centre Ave., Fort Collins, CO 80526.
Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris) Fusarium yellows is caused by Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. betae and can lead to significant reductions in root yield, sucrose percentage, juice purity, and storability. F. oxysporum f. sp. betae can be highly variable and many F. oxysporum strains isolated from symptomatic sugar beet are nonpathogenic. Identifying pathogenicity factors and their diversity in the F. oxysporum f. sp. betae population could further understanding of how this pathogen causes disease and potentially provide molecular markers to rapidly identify pathogenic isolates. This study used several previously described fungal effector genes (Fmk1, Fow1, Pda1, PelA, PelD, Pep1, Prt1, Rho1, Sge1, Six1, Six6, Snf1, and Ste12) as genetic markers, in a population of 26 pathogenic and nonpathogenic isolates of F. oxysporum originally isolated from symptomatic sugar beet. Of the genes investigated, six were present in all F. oxysporum isolates from sugar beet (Fmk1, Fow1, PelA, Rho1, Snf1, and Ste12), and seven were found to be dispersed within the population (Pda1, PelD, Pep1, Prt1, Sge1, Six1, and Six6). Of these, Fmk1, Fow1, PelA, Rho1, Sge1, Snf1, and Ste12 were significant in relating clade designations and PelD, and Prt1 were significant for correlating with pathogenicity in F. oxysporum f. sp. betae.