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Genetic Characterization of Fusarium graminearum Strains Using RAPD and PCR Amplification. Thérèse Ouellet, Plant Research Centre, Agriculture Canada, Research Branch, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada; Keith A. Seifert, Centre for Land and Biological Resources Research, Agriculture Canada, Research Branch, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0C6, Canada. Phytopathology 83:1003-1007. Accepted for publication 14 May 1993. Copyright 1993 The American Phytopathological Society. DOI: 10.1094/Phyto-83-1003.

Strains of Fusarium graminearum were characterized using random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and restriction analysis of amplified fragments from the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For RAPD analysis, three of 40 oligonucleotide primers were selected after testing with two F. graminearum strains and used to characterize an additional 17 strains of F. graminearum. For PCR amplifications, two sets of primers were designed from the sequence of cloned DNA fragments specific to F. graminearum. Most RAPD primers or PCR primer pairs yielded one of two common patterns, but the strains could be identified by the combined profile of patterns. The RAPD and PCR primers generally did not react with other Fusarium species or gave distinctly different patterns. The results suggest a relatively low amount of genetic diversity among the F. graminearum strains tested. The RAPD and specific PCR profiles are now being used for tracking strains of F. graminearum in field experiments.

Additional keywords: corn ear rot, DNA fingerprinting, Gibberella zeae, head blight.