Research Article

Virulence and genetic diversity among isolates of Mycosphaerella fijiensis in two regions of Brazil

Published: April 27, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(2): gmr7797 DOI: 10.4238/gmr.15027797

Abstract

Black sigatoka, caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis (anamorphic stage: Paracercospora fijiensis), was first detected in Brazil in early 1998 in the Benjamin Constant and Tabatinga municipalities in the State of Amazonas, near to where the borders of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru converge. Understanding how cultivars react to the pathogen, and characterizing the genetic variability of isolates from two distant and distinct banana-producing regions, are important for determining the virulence of M. fijiensis. In the present study, the genetic diversity of 22 M. fijiensis isolates was assessed using simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers, and their virulence was determined following inoculation on three different banana tree cultivars. All 22 isolates caused symptoms of the disease in the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars 45 days after inoculation, and at least two virulence groups were identified for the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars. For the D’Angola cultivars, two virulence groups were observed only after 60 days post-inoculation, and three of the isolates were not virulent. Using SSR markers, the isolates from two different regions of Brazil were placed into two genetic groups, both genetically distant from the Mf 138 isolate collected in Leticia, Colombia. There was no evidence of correlation between the virulence groups and the genetic diversity groups. These results demonstrate variability in virulence between isolates as measured by the severity of black sigatoka in the analyzed cultivars.

Black sigatoka, caused by the fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis (anamorphic stage: Paracercospora fijiensis), was first detected in Brazil in early 1998 in the Benjamin Constant and Tabatinga municipalities in the State of Amazonas, near to where the borders of Brazil, Colombia, and Peru converge. Understanding how cultivars react to the pathogen, and characterizing the genetic variability of isolates from two distant and distinct banana-producing regions, are important for determining the virulence of M. fijiensis. In the present study, the genetic diversity of 22 M. fijiensis isolates was assessed using simple sequence repeats (SSR) markers, and their virulence was determined following inoculation on three different banana tree cultivars. All 22 isolates caused symptoms of the disease in the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars 45 days after inoculation, and at least two virulence groups were identified for the Maçã and Prata Comum cultivars. For the D’Angola cultivars, two virulence groups were observed only after 60 days post-inoculation, and three of the isolates were not virulent. Using SSR markers, the isolates from two different regions of Brazil were placed into two genetic groups, both genetically distant from the Mf 138 isolate collected in Leticia, Colombia. There was no evidence of correlation between the virulence groups and the genetic diversity groups. These results demonstrate variability in virulence between isolates as measured by the severity of black sigatoka in the analyzed cultivars.