Department of Plant Pathology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P. R. China
Wheat stripe rust, caused by the fungal pathogen Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici, is one of the most destructive plant diseases in China. Gansu and Ningxia Provinces are considered to be the key areas for over-summering of this pathogen in China. In this study, 283 P. striiformis f. sp. tritici isolates were collected in these two provinces. Amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) was used to analyze the population genetics and to infer the chance of population exchanges between different geographic locations and seasons. The genotypic diversity of the Gansu population (0.514) was slightly higher than that of the Ningxia population (0.489). The occurrence of frequent population exchanges between these two regions was observed, showing that 40 AFLP genotypes were shared by the populations of the two provinces. Gene flow between these two regions in autumn and spring subpopulations was also detected. The genotype distribution in three populations of Ningxia from opposite sides of the Liupan Mountains revealed possible significant effects of the mountains on limiting gene flow and population exchange. Phylogenetic analysis confirmed the possibility of recombination in some of the studied subpopulations in both provinces.