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Pineapple heart rot isolates from Ecuador reveal a new genotype of Phytophthora nicotianae

Ratti, M. F., Ascunce, M. S., Landivar, J. J., Goss, E. M.
Plant pathology 2018 v.67 no.8 pp. 1803-1813
Citrus, DNA, Phytophthora nicotianae, alleles, biological control, crop yield, cropping systems, farms, fungicides, genetic variation, genotype, genotyping, heart rot, host specificity, intensive cropping, leaves, loci, microsatellite repeats, mitochondria, mortality, ornamental plants, pathogens, pesticide application, pineapples, population structure, production costs, tobacco, vegetables, wet season, Ecuador, Italy
Pineapple heart rot disease, caused by Phytophthora nicotianae (syn. P. parasitica), is responsible for significant annual reductions in crop yield due to plant mortality. In Ecuador, new infections arise during the rainy season and increase production costs due to the need for biocontrol and fungicide applications. Studies of P. nicotianae population structure suggest that certain genetic groups are associated with host genera; however, it is not clear how many host‐specific lineages of the pathogen exist or how they are related. The objectives of this study were to determine the level of genetic variation in the P. nicotianae population causing heart rot disease of pineapple in Ecuador and compare the genotypes found on pineapple to those previously reported from citrus, tobacco and ornamentals. Thirty P. nicotianae isolates collected from infected pineapple leaves from four farms were genotyped using nine simple sequence repeat loci. In addition, the DNA sequences of mitochondrial loci cox2 + spacer and trnG‐rns were analysed. Together, these loci supported a single clonal lineage with two multilocus genotypes differing in a single allele and low mitochondrial diversity. This lineage was distinct but closely related to isolates collected from vegetables and ornamentals in Italy. The results support the hypothesis of host specialization of P. nicotianae in intensive cropping systems and contribute to the understanding of population structure of this important pathogen.