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Mycol Res. 2003 Feb;107(Pt 2):198-205.

PCR-based DNA fingerprinting indicates host-related genetic variation in the nematophagous fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia.

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Nematode Interactions Unit, IACR-Rothamsted, Harpenden, Hertfordshire AL5 2JQ, UK.


The mitosporic fungus Pochonia chlamydosporia is a potential biocontrol agent for cyst (Heterodera spp. and Globodera spp.) and root knot (Meloidogyne spp.) nematodes, which are important agricultural plant pests. 54 isolates from diverse geographical regions and several nematode hosts were used in this study. Genetic variation was examined using enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus (ERIC) primed PCR and sequences from the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) rRNA region. ERIC PCR yielded 35 scorable binary characters from all the fungi tested and cluster analysis of the data showed that isolates from cyst nematodes were more genetically variable than those from root knot nematodes. The ITS regions were highly conserved, the only significant difference being an extra thymidine in isolates from Meloidogyne spp. Assays with nematode eggs indicated that isolates differ in their ability to infect different nematode genera. The results indicate host related variation in P. chlamydosporia. This finding has significant implications for the application of P. chlamydosporia as a biocontrol agent.

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