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Genetic Analyses Trace the Yunnan, China Population of Ceratocystis fimbriata on Pomegranate and Taro to Populations on Eucalyptus in Brazil

January 2015 , Volume 99 , Number  1
Pages  106 - 111

Thomas C. Harrington, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, Iowa State University, Ames 50014; Qiong Huang, College of Plant Protection, Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, 650201, China; Maria A. Ferreira, Department de Fitopatologia, Universidade Federal de Lavras, Minas Gerais, 37200000, Brazil; and Acelino C. Alfenas, Department of Fitopatologia, Universidade Federal de Viçosa, Minas Gerais, 36570, Brazil

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Accepted for publication 24 June 2014.

Genotypes of the Latin American wilt pathogen Ceratocystis fimbriata have been moved around the world in vegetatively propagated material of various crop plants, including Ipomoea batatas (sweet potato), Colocasia esculenta (taro), and Eucalyptus spp. When compared to a worldwide collection of isolates of C. fimbriata, isolates from taro, Punica granatum (pomegranate), and Eriobotrya japonica (loquat) from Yunnan Province, China were found to have sequences of internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rDNA and mating type genes that were identical to isolates from Eucalyptus in Brazil. Analyses of 35 isolates with 14 microsatellite markers revealed that the Yunnan population was nearly uniform, consisting of only 19 alleles and seven closely related genotypes, suggesting that the population is not natural and is the result of an introduction. As in comparisons of sequences of ITS rDNA and mating type genes, the microsatellite alleles of the Yunnan isolates were most similar to those of Eucalyptus isolates from Minas Gerais and Bahia, Brazil, where C. fimbriata is native, soilborne, and commonly infects cuttings of Eucalyptus spp. used for rooting in nurseries. Thus, the Yunnan population, which is causing severe losses on pomegranate, may have been indirectly derived from introductions of C. fimbriata in contaminated Eucalyptus cuttings from Brazil.

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