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Detection and Characterization of Benzimidazole Resistance in California Populations of Colletotrichum cereale

Wong, F.P., de la Cerda, K.A., Hernandez-Martinez, R., Midland, S.L.
Plant disease 2008 v.92 no.2 pp. 239-246
Poa annua, lawns and turf, turf grasses, golf courses, Colletotrichum, plant pathogenic fungi, anthracnose, thiophanate-methyl, fungicide resistance, application rate, nucleotide sequences, genetic variation, glutamic acid, lysine, benomyl, Agrostis stolonifera var. palustris, California
Colletotrichum cereale is the causal agent of turfgrass anthracnose, which has become a serious problem on annual bluegrass (Poa annua) and creeping bentgrass (Agrostis palustris) golf course putting greens. Thiophanate-methyl is a benzimidazole (methyl benzimidazole carbamate [MBC]) fungicide used for the management of anthracnose. In this study, we examined 481 isolates from 10 California populations to determine the presence and frequency of MBC resistance. An in vitro methodology was developed to construct a baseline sensitivity distribution using 60 isolates from an unexposed population (TCGC). The 50% effective dose (ED50) values for the baseline sensitivity distribution for thiophanate-methyl ranged from 0.14 to 2.3 μg/ml with a mean of 0.75 μg/ml. For 60 isolates assayed from an exposed population (AHCC), 57 isolates were not responsive to in vitro concentrations of thiophanate-methyl of up to 30 μg/ml. Isolates nonresponsive to thiophanate-methyl were not responsive to benomyl in vitro. Two isolates nonresponsive in vitro to thiophanate-methyl or benomyl were not controlled in vivo on annual bluegrass plants treated preventively with either fungicide at 11 mg/ml, confirming the results of the in vitro testing. The remaining 361 isolates from eight populations were tested using the single discriminatory dose of thiophanate-methyl at 10 μg/ml. A high proportion (>90%) of isolates from six of the populations were resistant to thiophanate-methyl, indicating the presence of practical resistance at these locations. To determine the molecular mechanism of MBC resistance, the two β-tubulin genes, TUB1 and TUB2, of 12 resistant and 6 sensitive isolates were amplified and sequenced, revealing a glutamic acid to lysine substitution at position 198 of TUB2 that was present in all resistant isolates. This work confirms the presence of MBC resistance in C. cereale populations from California and presents methods and information that can be used to manage resistance to the MBC fungicides and improve anthracnose management programs.