Main content area

The role of aggressiveness and competition in the selection of Phytophthora infestans populations

Young, G. K., Cooke, L. R., Watson, S., Kirk, W. W., Perez, F. M., Deahl, K. L.
Plant pathology 2018 v.67 no.7 pp. 1539-1551
Phytophthora infestans, cultivars, field experimentation, genotype, latent period, pathogens, potatoes, sporangia, spores, Northern Ireland
Selection within populations of Phytophthora infestans was investigated by comparing the aggressiveness of single‐lesion isolates on detached leaflets of four potato cultivars with differing levels of race‐nonspecific resistance to P. infestans. The isolates included 23 representative of Northern Ireland genotypes from the early 2000s, used to inoculate previously reported field trials on competitive selection (2003–2005), plus 12 isolates recovered from the 2003 trial. The cultivars were those planted in the previous trials: Atlantic (blight‐susceptible) and Santé, Milagro and Stirling (partially resistant). Very highly significant variation for latent period, infection frequency and lesion area was found between genotypes and cultivars; differences between genotypes were more marked on the more resistant cultivars, but no one genotype was the most aggressive across all. Detached leaflets were also inoculated with mixtures of isolates from each genotype group at three sporangial concentrations: differences in aggressiveness between genotypes were more apparent at lower concentrations and on the more resistant cultivars. Genotype groups that were the most aggressive on the more resistant cultivars tended to be those selected by the same cultivars in the field. A mixture of all isolates of all genotypes was used to inoculate detached leaflets of the same cultivars. With one exception, single spore isolates recovered from any one leaflet belonged to a single genotype, but different genotypes were recovered from different cultivars. Phytophthora infestans isolates from Northern Ireland showed significant variation for foliar aggressiveness, and pathogen genotypes exhibited differential aggressiveness to partially resistant cultivars and interacted competitively in genotype selection.