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Effect of Phenylpyrrole-resistance Mutations on Ecological Fitness of Botrytis cinerea and their Genetical Basis in Ustilago maydis

Ziogas, B.N., Markoglou, A.N., Spyropoulou, V.
European journal of plant pathology 2005 v.113 no.1 pp. 83-100
Botrytis cinerea, Ustilago zeae, plant pathogenic fungi, fungal diseases of plants, fungicides, mutants, fungicide resistance, viability, osmotic pressure, loci, genes, linkage (genetics), Cucumis sativus, cucumbers, cross resistance, sporulation, spore germination, virulence, microbial genetics
Mutants of Botrytis cinerea and Ustilago maydis highly resistant to fludioxonil were isolated at a high frequency, after nitrosoguanidine or UV mutagenesis, respectively, and selection on media containing fludioxonil. Tests on the response of mutant strains to high osmotic pressure resulted in the identification of two fludioxonil-resistant phenotypes (FLDosm/s and FLDosm/r), regarding the sensitivity to high osmolarity. Approximately 95% of fludioxonil-resistant mutants were found to be more sensitive to high osmotic pressure than the wild-type parent strains. Genetic analysis of phenylpyrrole-resistance in the phytopathogenic basidiomycete U. maydis, showed that fludioxonil-resistance was coded by three unlinked chromosomal loci (U/fld-1, U/fld-2 and U/fld-3), from which only the U/fld-1 mutation coded an osmotic sensitivity similar to that of the wild-types. Cross-resistance studies with fungicides from other chemical groups showed that the mutations for resistance to phenylpyrroles affect the sensitivity of mutant strains to the aromatic hydrocarbon and dicarboximide fungicides, but not to the benzimidazoles, anilinopyrimidines, phenylpyridinamines, hydroxyanilides or the sterol biosynthesis inhibiting fungicides. A study of fitness parameters in the wild-type and fludioxonil-resistant mutants of B. cinerea, showed that all osmotic sensitive (B/FLDosm/s) isolates had significant reductions in the characteristics determining saprophytic fitness such as mycelial growth, sporulation, conidial germination and sclerotial production. Contrary to that, with the exception of mycelial growth, the fitness parameters were unaffected or only slightly affected in most of the osmotic resistant (B/FLDosm/r) isolates. Tests on cucumber seedlings showed that the osmotic-sensitive strains were significantly less pathogenic compared with the wild-type and B/FLDosm/r strains of B. cinerea. Preventative applications of the commercial products Saphire 50 WP (fludioxonil) and Rovral 50 WP (iprodione) were effective against lesion development on cotyledons by the wild-type and the mutant strains of B. cinerea that were resistant to the anilinopyrimidine cyprodinil (B/CPL-27) and to the hydroxyanilide fenhexamid (B/FNH-21), but ineffective, even at high concentrations, against disease caused by the fludioxonil-resistant isolates (B/FLD) and a mutant strain resistant to the dicarboximide iprodione (B/IPR-1). Experiments on the stability of the fludioxonil-resistant phenotype showed a reduction of resistance, mainly in osmotic-sensitive isolates, when the mutants were grown on inhibitor-free medium. A rapid recovery of the high resistance was observed after mutants were returned to the selection medium. Studies on the competitive ability of mutant isolates against the wild-type parent strain of B. cinerea, by applications of a mixed conidial population, showed that, in vitro, all mutants were less competitive than the wild-type strain. However, the competitive ability of osmotic-resistant mutants was higher than the osmotic-sensitive ones. Furthermore, competition tests, in planta, showed a significant reduction of the frequency of both phenylpyrrole-resistant phenotypes, with a respective increase in the population of the wild-type strain of the pathogen.