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Genetics. 1999 Jul;152(3):971-84.

Population structure and dynamics of Magnaporthe grisea in the Indian Himalayas.

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  • 1Hill Campus, G. B. Pant University, Ranichauri 249 199, Uttar Pradesh, India.


The population genetics of Magnaporthe grisea, the rice blast pathogen, were analyzed in a center of rice diversity (the Uttar Pradesh hills of the Indian Himalayas) using multilocus and single-, or low-copy, DNA markers. Based on DNA fingerprinting with the multilocus probe MGR586 and single-locus probes, 157 haplotypes clustered into 56 lineages (at >/=70% MGR586 band similarity, each with unique single-locus profiles) and high diversity indices were detected among 458 isolates collected from 29 sites during 1992-1995. Most valleys sampled had distinct populations (73% of the lineages were site specific) with some containing one or a few lineages, confirming the importance of clonal propagation, and others were very diverse. Widely distributed lineages suggested that migration occurs across the region and into the Indo-Gangetic plains. Repeated sampling at one site, Matli, (170 isolates, 1992-1995) yielded 19 lineages and diversity significantly greater than that reported from similar samples from Colombia and the Philippines. Analysis of allelic associations using pairwise comparisons and multilocus variance analysis failed to reject the hypothesis of gametic phase equilibrium. The Matli population shifted from highly diverse in 1992 to almost complete dominance by one lineage in 1995. Such population dynamics are consistent with recombination followed by differential survival of clonal descendants of recombinant progeny. At another site, Ranichauri, population (n = 84) composition changed from 2 to 11 lineages over 2 yr and yielded additional evidence for equilibrium. Sexually fertile and hermaphrodite isolates of both mating types were recovered from rice in both Matli and Ranichauri. We demonstrate that Himalayan M. grisea populations are diverse and dynamic and conclude that the structure of some populations may be affected to some extent by sexual recombination.

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