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QoI Resistance in Fusicladium carpophilum Populations from Almond in California and Evaluation of Molecular Resistance Mechanisms

October 2013 , Volume 97 , Number  10
Pages  1,322 - 1,330

Y. Luo, L. Hou, H. Förster, and J. E. Adaskaveg, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside 92521

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Accepted for publication 12 April 2013.

Disease management failures have been reported in California for almond scab caused by Fusicladium carpophilum following quinone outside inhibitor (QoI) applications. Resistance in the pathogen populations was found to be common and at high incidence in the major almond-growing regions beginning in 2003, 4 years after registration of azoxystrobin on this crop. Two levels of azoxystrobin resistance, moderate and high, were identified with 50% effective concentration (EC50) values between 0.15 and 10 μg/ml or >40 μg/ml, respectively. Reference isolates collected before resistance was detected had EC50 values <0.05 μg/ml. High-resistance was associated with a G143A mutation in the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. For the less commonly found moderately resistant isolates, no mutations in the gene were detected between codons 122 and 212. Using primers targeting the G143A mutation or the cytochrome b gene of all F. carpophilum isolates in quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) analyses, the frequency of highly resistant isolates was accurately determined in mixtures of conidia with selected ratios of sensitive and resistant isolates. The frequency of high resistance in bulked samples of scab lesions, however, was generally underestimated compared with in vitro testing of fungicide sensitivity of fungal isolates from the same lesions. Competition experiments using conidial suspensions demonstrated stability of the highly resistant genotype in the presence of different amounts of sensitive and moderately resistant genotypes. Analysis of covariance of linear regressions of cycle threshold values on DNA concentrations derived from qPCR amplifications using two primer pairs for cytochrome b alleles with and without the G143 mutation showed that several isolates differed in their slopes and midpoints. Thus, heteroplasmy of mitochondrial-inherited QoI resistance is suggested as a likely cause for incongruence in estimating resistance frequencies using the two methods.

© 2013 The American Phytopathological Society