Genetic structure of Italian populations of Pyrenochaeta lycopersici, the causal agent of corky root rot of tomato
Infantino, A.; Pucci, N.; Aragona, M.; De Felice, S.; Rau, D.
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Pyrenochaeta lycopersici is the causal agent of corky root rot, which is a serious disease worldwide that attacks the roots of tomato. A total of 139 isolates were sampled from eight locations in Italy and Israel and assigned to two molecular types (type 1 and type 2) based on internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences. These isolates were genotyped using amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs) to decipher the population structure. Based on this population structure analysis, three groups of P. lycopersici were identified. One group correlated to ITS type 1, while the other two correlated to ITS type 2. AMOVA indicated high genetic divergence (FST = 040) between the Italian types 1 and 2. These data support the view that the two ITS types represent significant evolutionary entities, although there might be incomplete lineage sorting present. Some isolates of different ITS type were observed to have very similar multilocus AFLP profiles, and some genotypes were intermediate between the two ITS types. This suggests that parasexual hybridization between the two types has had a significant role in shaping the population structure of P. lycopersici. Finally, the average divergence among the populations within the ITS types was very high (FSC = 0710, P < 10- 5), probably due to strong genetic drift and founder effects combined with restricted migration.