J. W. Woodhall, The Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, UK;
B. Lutomirska, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute, Jadwisin Research Division, 05-140 Serock, Poland;
J. C. Peters, The Food and Environment Research Agency, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, UK; and
P. S. Wharton, Aberdeen Research and Extension Center, University of Idaho, Aberdeen 83210
Rhizoctonia solani is a species complex of 13 related but genetically distinct anastomosis groups (AGs). In potato, R. solani can infect the stems, stolons, and roots, resulting in quantitative losses. It can also cause qualitative losses through blemishes occurring on progeny tubers, such as black scurf and elephant hide (corky cracking). Knowledge of the AG in local populations is important because they differ in host range, fungicide sensitivity, and disease severity (2). To determine the AGs present in Poland, 54 tuber samples displaying typical R. solani symptoms were taken from six different fields in 2011. The fields were representative of five different administrative regions of Poland and from at least 10 different varieties. Rhizoctonia was isolated from tubers by placing symptomatic material on to tap water agar amended with streptomycin and penicillin and after 2 to 3 days Rhizoctonia colonies were identified and hyphal tips of these transferred to potato dextrose agar. Rhizoctonia was successfully isolated from 48 tubers displaying black scurf and two tubers displaying elephant hide symptoms. DNA was extracted from Rhizoctonia cultures using a Wizard Food kit (Promega) and the AG was determined using specific real-time PCR assays (1). All Rhizoctonia isolates were determined to be AG3 and this was confirmed for 10 selected isolates by observing hyphal fusion with a known AG3 tester isolate (Rs08) as described previously (3). Pairings were also conducted amongst the 10 Polish isolates, C2 reactions were typically observed indicating numerous vegetative compatible groups are present. This study shows that AG3 is likely to be the predominant AG in potato tubers in Poland. This is similar to other studies in Europe, which have all determined that AG3 accounts for at least 92% of isolates from potato (2,3). AG2-1, 4, and 5 have also been found in tubers worldwide and climate and certain crop rotations can influence the presence of these other AGs in potato tubers (2). However, climate and crop rotations in Poland are similar to other parts of Europe so the predominance of AG3 is expected. AG3 was also isolated from elephant hide symptoms; however, it was more frequently isolated from sclerotia. The ability of AG3 to prolifically produce sclerotia and thereby survive on seed tubers may explain its predominance in potato crops (4). Therefore, studies focusing on the management of Rhizoctonia potato disease in Poland should consider AG3 in the first instance.
References: (1) G. E. Budge et al. Plant Pathol. 58:1071, 2009. (2) L. Tsror. J. Phytopathol. 158:649, 2010. (3) J. W. Woodhall et al. Plant Pathol. 56:286, 2007. (4) J. W. Woodhall et al. Plant Pathol. 57:5, 2008.