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Phytopathology. 2005 Sep;95(9):1061-71. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-95-1061.

Analysis of Leptosphaeria maculans Race Structure in a Worldwide Collection of Isolates.


ABSTRACT Leptosphaeria maculans, the causal agent of stem canker of oilseed rape, develops gene-for-gene interactions with its hosts. To date, eight L. maculans avirulence (Avr) genes, AvrLm1 to AvrLm8, have been genetically characterized. An additional Avr gene, AvrLm9, that interacts with the resistance gene Rlm9, was genetically characterized here following in vitro crosses of the pathogen. A worldwide collection of 63 isolates, including the International Blackleg of Crucifers Network collection, was genotyped at these nine Avr loci. In a first step, isolates were classified into pathogenicity groups (PGs) using two published differential sets. This analysis revealed geographical disparities as regards the proportion of each PG. Genotyping of isolates at all Avr loci confirmed the disparities between continents, in terms of Avr allele frequencies, particularly for AvrLm2, AvrLm3, AvrLm7, AvrLm8, and AvrLm9, or in terms of race structure, diversity, and complexity. Twenty-six distinct races were identified in the collection. A larger number of races (n = 18) was found in Australia than in Europe (n = 8). Mean number of virulence alleles per isolate was also higher in Australia (5.11 virulence alleles) than in Europe (4.33) and Canada (3.46). Due to the diversity of populations of L. maculans evidenced here at the race level, a new, open terminology is proposed for L. maculans race designation, indicating all Avr loci for which the isolate is avirulent.

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