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Resistance to Fludioxonil in Botrytis cinerea Isolates from Blackberry and Strawberry

July 2014 , Volume 104 , Number  7
Pages  724 - 732

Xingpeng Li, Dolores Fernández-Ortuño, Anja Grabke, and Guido Schnabel

First, third, and fourth authors: School of Agricultural, Forest, & Environmental Sciences, Clemson University, Clemson SC 29634; and second author: Instituto de Hortofruticultura Subtropical y Mediterránea “La Mayora”-Universidad de Málaga-Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científica (IHSM-UMA-CSIC), Departamento de Microbiología, Campus de Teatinos, 29071 Málaga, Spain.

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Accepted for publication 6 January 2014.

Site-specific fungicides, including the phenylpyrrole fludioxonil, are frequently used for gray mold control but are at risk for the development of resistance. In this study, field isolates that were low-resistant (LR) and moderately resistant (MR) to fludioxonil from blackberry and strawberry fields of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia were characterized. Genes involved in osmoregulation, including bcsak1, BcOS4, bos5, and BRRG-1, were cloned and sequenced to detect potential target gene alterations; however, none were found. A previously described mutation (R632I) in transcription factor Mrr1, which is known to increase the expression of ATP-binding cassette transporter AtrB, was found in MR but not in sensitive (S) or LR isolates. Expression of atrB in MR isolates was ≈200-fold increased compared with an S isolate; however, 30- to 100-fold overexpression was also detected in LR isolates. Both MR isolates exhibited increased sensitivity to salt stress in the form of mycelial growth inhibition at 4% NaCl, indicating a disruption of osmoregulatory processes in those strains. However, the glycerol content was indistinguishable between S, LR, and MR isolates with and without exposure to fludioxonil, suggesting that the glycerol synthesis pathway may not be a part of the resistance mechanism in LR or MR strains. An investigation into the origin of LR and MR isolates from blackberry revealed two insertions in the mrr1 gene consistent with those found in the Botrytis clade group S. The emergence of strains overexpressing atrB in European and now in North American strawberry fields underscores the importance of this resistance mechanism for development of resistance to fludioxonil in Botrytis cinerea.

© 2014 The American Phytopathological Society