Population Genetic Analyses of the Fungal Pathogen Colletotrichum fructicola on Tea-Oil Trees in China Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • The filamentous fungus Colletotrichum fructicola is found in all five continents and is capable of causing severe diseases in a number of economically important plants such as avocado, fig, cocoa, pear, and tea-oil trees. However, almost nothing is known about its patterns of genetic variation and epidemiology on any of its host plant species. Here we analyzed 167 isolates of C. fructicola obtained from the leaves of tea-oil tree Camellia oleifera at 15 plantations in seven Chinese provinces. Multilocus sequence typing was conducted for all isolates based on DNA sequences at fragments of four genes: the internal transcribed spacers of the nuclear ribosomal RNA gene cluster (539 bp), calmodulin (633 bp), glutamine synthetase (711 bp), and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (190 bp), yielding 3.52%, 0.63%, 8.44%, and 7.89% of single nucleotide polymorphic sites and resulting in 15, 5, 12 and 11 alleles respectively at the four gene fragments in the total sample. The combined allelic information from all four loci identified 53 multilocus genotypes with the most frequent represented by 21 isolates distributed in eight tea-oil plantations in three provinces, consistent with long-distance clonal dispersal. However, despite evidence for clonal dispersal, statistically significant genetic differentiation among geographic populations was detected. In addition, while no evidence of recombination was found within any of the four gene fragments, signatures of recombination were found among the four gene fragments in most geographic populations, consistent with sexual mating of this species in nature. Our study provides the first insights into the population genetics and epidemiology of the important plant fungal pathogen C. fructicola.

publication date

  • 2016