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Population variation of apple scab (Venturia inaequalis) within mixed orchards in the UK

Xu, Xiangming, Harvey, Nick, Roberts, Anthony, Barbara, Dez
European journal of plant pathology 2013 v.135 no.1 pp. 97-104
Venturia inaequalis, amplified fragment length polymorphism, apples, conidia, cultivars, disease control, fungi, gene frequency, genetic background, genetic resistance, inoculum, loci, microsatellite repeats, orchards, trees, United Kingdom
Apple scab, caused by Venturia inaequalis, is one of the most important apple diseases worldwide. To investigate between- and within-orchard fungal variability, 212 isolates were sampled from two mixed orchards, one of 10 years of age and the other of 45 years of age, in the UK and genotyped with AFLP and SSR markers. Populations of isolates from the two orchards did not differ significantly in terms of allele frequencies at the screened AFLP and SSR loci. However, groups of isolates from individual cultivars differed significantly within each orchard and there were also significant differences between groups of isolates from individual trees of the same cultivar in the same orchard. These differences were less pronounced in the younger mixed orchard than in the older one. The existence of tree-to-tree fungal variability indicates a possible role for conidia as a source of primary inoculum. Non-random mating may be one of the factors causing the significant differences among fungal populations from different cultivars. These results suggest that apparently ‘susceptible’ cultivars have different background genetic resistance factors, which can be exploited for disease management in mixtures.