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Low genetic diversity of Rhynchosporium commune in Iran, a secondary centre of barley origin

Seifollahi, E., Sharifnabi, B., Javan‐Nikkhah, M., Linde, C. C.
Plant pathology 2018 v.67 no.8 pp. 1725-1734
Avena sativa, Hordeum vulgare, Lolium multiflorum, Rhynchosporium, barley, breeding sites, center of origin, genetic variation, genotype, grasses, inoculum, leaves, mating types, microsatellite repeats, pathogens, sexual reproduction, variance, Iran, Syria
Rhynchosporium commune is a destructive pathogen of barley, causing leaf scald. Previous microsatellite studies used Syria as a representative of cultivated barley's centre of origin, the Fertile Crescent. These suggested that R. commune and Hordeum vulgare (cultivated barley) did not co‐evolve in the host's centre of origin. The present study compares R. commune populations from Syria with those from Iran, which represents a secondary centre of origin for barley at the eastern edge of the Iranian Plateau. Results from this study also suggest that R. commune and barley did not co‐evolve in the centre of origin of cultivated barley. This was evidenced by the low pathogen genetic diversity in Iran, which was even lower than in Syria, indicating that the pathogen may have been introduced recently into Iran, perhaps through infected barley seed. Hierarchical analyses of molecular variance revealed that most genetic diversity in Iran and Syria is distributed within populations, with only 14% among populations. Analyses of multilocus association, genotype diversity and mating type frequency suggest that Iranian populations reproduce predominantly asexually. The presence of both mating types on barley and uncultivated grasses suggest a potential for sexual reproduction. Rhynchosporium commune was also found on Hordeum murinum subsp. glaucum, H. vulgare subsp. spontaneum, Lolium multiflorum and, for the first time, on Avena sativa. The variety of wild grasses that can be infected with R. commune in Iran raises concerns of these grasses acting as evolutionary breeding grounds and sources of inoculum.