Department of Plant Pathology and Crop Physiology, Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, Baton Rouge 70803-1720
Thirty-five isolates of Fusarium oxysporum obtained from diseased sweetpotato or tobacco were compared for pathogenicity on two cultivars each of sweetpotato and tobacco, by random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) profiles, and by vegetative compatibility group (VCG) analysis. Analysis of RAPD profiles revealed five clusters of isolates that corresponded to patterns of pathogenicity. One cluster of isolates, designated as F. oxysporum f. sp. nicotianae, induced severe wilting on both tobacco cultivars but varied from weakly to highly aggressive on the sweetpotato cultivars. Four of the 16 isolates from this group were originally isolated from sweetpotato, and 1 isolate caused severe disease on both crops. Three clusters included isolates from sweetpotato that were virulent on Porto Rico, caused little or no disease on Beauregard and burley tobacco (cv. Kentucky 5), and did not cause wilt on flue-cured tobacco (cv. Gold Dollar). These isolates were designated as race 0 of F. oxysporum f. sp. batatas. Isolates obtained from sweetpotato from California clustered separately from other sweetpotato isolates and the tobacco isolates. They differed from other sweetpotato isolates in being virulent on Beauregard and are proposed as a new race 1 of F. oxysporum f. sp. batatas. VCG analysis was of limited value with the isolates in this study because many isolates were self-incompatible. In each case, all members of a VCG fell within the same cluster defined by RAPDs. This study demonstrated that F. oxysporum from at least three genetically distinct lineages can cause Fusarium wilt on sweetpotato, and that the host ranges of F. oxysporum f. sp. batatas and F. oxysporum f. sp. nicotianae overlap and include plants from two different families.