Genetic diversity and population structure of Fusarium fujikuroi causing Bakanae, an emerging disease of rice in India
Bakanae caused by Fusarium fujikuroi (Nirenberg), is emerging as a serious threat for rice (Oryza sativa. L.) cultivation in India. In this study, 63 isolates of Fusarium fujikuroi isolated from symptomatic diseased plants were characterized for their morphology, pathogenicity and molecular variability using universal rice primers (URP). Of the 12 URPs used in the study, 6 primers could produce polymorphic fragments in all the isolates. The URP 17R primer was highly polymorphic (100%), whereas, the URP 1F primer produced 75% polymorphic fragments. A dendrogram obtained from the combined analysis of 6 URP primers categorized the isolates into four clusters, where most of the isolates from Punjab and Haryana were clustered separately. Mating type of the population was identified based on MAT-1 and MAT-2 region universal primers for Gibberella fujikuroi. Among the 63 isolates, 18 (28.57%) were identified as MAT-1 and 45 (71.42%) as MAT-2. The effective population number for mating type was 89% of the total population. Since the distribution frequencies of both mating types were not equal in the Indian population of F. fujikuroi, it could conclude that majority of the multiplication of isolates under field conditions was through asexual reproduction. However, the presence of both mating types in F. fujikuroi indicates that the population is also capable of sexual reproduction. Therefore, it is important to develop cultivars with inbuilt resistance to bakanae disease, taking into consideration the factors such as environmental conditions and variability of the pathogen in the area of intended cultivation.
Conidia, Gibberella fujikuroi, Oryza sativa, Rice, URP primers
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