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Mycologia. 2002 Sep-Oct;94(5):781-93.

Diversity in and evidence for selection on the mitochondrial genome of Phytophthora infestans.

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Department of Plant Pathology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853.


Two extant nomenclature systems were reconciled to relate six mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes of Phytophthora infestans, the oomycete pathogen causing late blight disease on potato and tomato. Carter's haplotypes I-a and I-b were included in Goodwin's haplotype A, while Carter's haplotypes II-a and II-b were included in Goodwin's haplotype B. In addition, haplotypes E and F were included in Carter's haplotype I-b. The mutational differences separating the various haplotypes were determined, and we propose that either haplotype I-b(A) or haplotype I-a(A) is the putative ancestral mtDNA of P. infestans, because either can center all the other haplotypes in a logical stepwise network of mutational changes. The occurrence of the six haplotypes in 548 isolates worldwide was determined. Haplotypes I-a and II-a were associated with diverse genotypes worldwide. As previously suggested, haplotype I-b was found only in the US-1 clonal lineage and its variants (n = 99 isolates from 16 countries on 5 continents), and haplotype II-b was limited to the US-6 clonal lineage and its derivatives (n = 36). In a confirmation of a previous suggestion, the randomly mating population in the Toluca Valley of central Mexico (n = 78) was monomorphic for mtDNA haplotype I-a(A). We hypothesize that selection there may be driving the dominance of that single mtDNA haplotype.

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