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Acquired Resistance to Mefenoxam in Sensitive Isolates of Phytophthora infestans

March 2015 , Volume 105 , Number  3
Pages  342 - 349

Richard Childers, Giovanna Danies, Kevin Myers, Zhangjun Fei, Ian M. Small, and William E. Fry

First, second, third, fifth, and sixth authors: Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853; and fourth author: Boyce Thompson Institute and USDA-ARS, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.

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Accepted for publication 9 September 2014.

The systemic fungicide mefenoxam has been important in the control of late blight disease caused by Phytophthora infestans. This phenylamide fungicide has a negative effect on the synthesis of ribosomal RNA; however, the genetic basis for inherited field resistance is still not completely clear. We recently observed that a sensitive isolate became tolerant after a single passage on mefenoxam-containing medium. Further analyses revealed that all sensitive isolates tested (in three diverse genotypes) acquired this resistance equally quickly. In contrast, isolates that were “resistant” to mefenoxam in the initial assessment (stably resistant) did not increase in resistance upon further exposure. However, there appeared to be a cost associated with acquired resistance in the initially sensitive isolates, in that isolates with acquired resistance grew more slowly on mefenoxam-free medium than did the same isolates that had never been exposed to mefenoxam. The acquired resistance of the sensitive isolates declined slightly with subsequent culturing on medium free of mefenoxam. To investigate the mechanism of acquired resistance, we employed strand-specific RNA sequencing. Many differentially expressed genes were genotype specific, but one set of genes was differentially expressed in all genotypes. Among these were several genes (a phospholipase “Pi-PLD-like-3,” two ATP-binding cassette superfamily [ABC] transporters, and a mannitol dehydrogenase) that were up-regulated and whose function might contribute to a resistance phenotype.

© 2015 The American Phytopathological Society