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Genetic Diversity of Ascochyta rabiei in Canada

January 2004 , Volume 88 , Number  1
Pages  4 - 10

G. Chongo , B. D. Gossen , L. Buchwaldt , T. Adhikari , and S. R. Rimmer , Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Research Centre, Saskatoon, SK S7N 0X2, Canada

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Accepted for publication 17 August 2003.

Assessment of variability of Ascochyta rabiei (teleomorph: Didymella rabiei) was based on virulence tests of 40 isolates and on random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis of 39 isolates from Canada. In addition, isolates of A. rabiei from other countries were assessed in the virulence (18 isolates) and RAPD (20 isolates) analyses. Seven isolates of A. lentis (teleo-morph: Didymella lentis) and two of A. pinodes (teleomorph: Mycosphaerella pinodes) also were included in the RAPD analysis. Significant line-isolate interactions in the virulence tests indicated that certain isolates were virulent only on certain lines. Canadian isolates were grouped into 14 pathotypes using eight chickpea differentials. These groupings also encompassed 17 of the 18 isolates from other countries. RAPD analysis of all 68 isolates using 8 primers produced 112 fragments, of which 96% were polymorphic. Similarities among A. rabiei isolates from Canada ranged from 20 to 100%. In the RAPD dendrogram, all five A. rabiei isolates from Australia, three of six from Syria, three of five from the United States, and one of two from India clustered within the major groups of Canadian isolates. There was a weak association between RAPD and pathotype groups. A. rabiei was 45% similar to A. lentis and only 14% similar to A. pinodes. The levels of DNA variability and virulence among isolates show that the population of A. rabiei in Canada is highly diverse.

Additional keywords: Ascochyta blight, Cicer arietinum, resistance

© 2004 The American Phytopathological Society