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Rapid Changes in the Genetic Composition of Stagonosporopsis tanaceti Population in Australian Pyrethrum Fields

March 2015 , Volume 105 , Number  3
Pages  358 - 369

Niloofar Vaghefi, Frank S. Hay, Peter K. Ades, Sarah J. Pethybridge, Rebecca Ford, and Paul W. J. Taylor

First, fifth, and sixth authors: Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, 3010, Australia; second author: Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, University of Tasmania, Burnie, Tasmania, 7320, Australia; third author: Department of Forest and Ecosystem Science, The University of Melbourne, Victoria, 3010, Australia; and fourth author: Cornell University, Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Geneva, NY 14456.

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Accepted for publication 8 September 2014.

A novel set of microsatellite markers were developed and employed for geographical and temporal population analyses of Stagonosporopsis tanaceti, the cause of ray blight of pyrethrum in Australia. Genotyping of 407 isolates, using 13 markers, suggested an asexual mode of reproduction with significant linkage disequilibrium and high levels of clonality. Low geographical differentiation and widespread distribution of a few multilocus genotypes (MLGs), in the absence of airborne ascospores, suggested the role of human-mediated movement of seed as a major means of long-distance pathogen dispersal. The genetic composition of S. tanaceti was stable for a decade then changed rapidly in only 2 years. Bayesian clustering analyses and minimum spanning networks determined only two major clonal lineages in and prior to 2010. However, in 2012, a previously unobserved cluster of MLGs was detected, which significantly increased in frequency and displaced the historically dominant MLGs by 2013. This rapid change in the genetic composition of S. tanaceti could indicate a second introduction then a selective sweep, or strong selection pressures from recently introduced fungicides or pyrethrum varieties. These results may have serious implications for durability of management strategies for this disease.

Additional keywords: microsatellite development, S. chrysanthemi, S. inoxydabilis, temporal population genetics.

© 2015 The American Phytopathological Society