Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Fusarium commune Causing Strawberry Root Rot in Southcentral China Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Strawberry plants and fruits are vulnerable to infections by a broad range of pathogens and pests. However, knowledge about the epidemiology of pathogens causing strawberry diseases is limited. In this study, we analyzed Fusarium commune, a major fungal pathogen causing strawberry root rot, from diseased strawberry root tissues in southcentral China. A total of 354 isolates were obtained from 11 locations that spanned about 700 km from both south to north and east to west. Multilocus genotypes of all isolates were obtained using seven polymorphic simple sequence repeat markers developed in this study. Our analyses revealed significant genetic diversity within each of the 11 local populations of F. commune. STRUCTURE analysis revealed that the optimal number of genetic populations for the 354 strains was two, with most local geographic populations containing isolates in both genetic clusters. Interestingly, many isolates showed allelic ancestry to both genetic clusters, consistent with recent hybridization between the two genetic clusters. In addition, though alleles and genotypes were frequently shared among local populations, statistically significant genetic differentiations were found among the local populations. However, the observed F. commune population genetic distances were not correlated with geographic distances. Together, our analyses suggest that populations of F. commune causing strawberry root rot are likely endemic to southcentral China, with each local population containing shared and unique genetic elements. Though the observed gene flow among geographic regions was relatively low, human activities will likely accelerate pathogen dispersals, resulting in the generation of new genotypes through mating and recombination.


  • He, Yunlu
  • Chen, Jia
  • Tang, Chao
  • Deng, Qiao
  • Guo, Litao
  • Cheng, Yi
  • Li, Zhimin
  • Wang, Tuhong
  • Xu, Jianping
  • Gao, Chunsheng

publication date

  • May 18, 2022

published in