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Phytopathology. 2015 Dec;105(12):1594-600. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-05-15-0129-R. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Metalaxyl Resistance in Phytophthora infestans: Assessing Role of RPA190 Gene and Diversity Within Clonal Lineages.

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First and fourth authors: Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521; and second and third authors: Section of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853.


Prior work has shown that the inheritance of resistance to metalaxyl, an oomycete-specific fungicide, is complex and may involve multiple genes. Recent research indicated that a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the gene encoding RPA190, the largest subunit of RNA polymerase I, confers resistance to metalaxyl (or mefenoxam) in some isolates of the potato late blight pathogen Phytophthora infestans. Using both DNA sequencing and high resolution melt assays for distinguishing RPA190 alleles, we show here that the SNP is absent from certain resistant isolates of P. infestans from North America, Europe, and Mexico. The SNP is present in some members of the US-23 and US-24 clonal lineages, but these tend to be fairly sensitive to the fungicide based on artificial media and field test data. Diversity in the level of sensitivity, RPA190 genotype, and RPA190 copy number was observed in these lineages but were uncorrelated. Controlled laboratory crosses demonstrated that RPA190 did not cosegregate with metalaxyl resistance from a Mexican and British isolate. We conclude that while metalaxyl may be used to control many contemporary strains of P. infestans, an assay based on RPA190 will not be sufficient to diagnose the sensitivity levels of isolates.

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