, Volume 113, Issue 4, pp 407-416

Genetic Variation and Population Structure of the Grape Powdery Mildew Fungus, Erysiphe necator, in Southern France

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Erysiphe necator, the causative agent of powdery mildew in grapevine, was introduced into Europe from North America during the middle of the 19th century. Our objective was to analyze the genetic variation and the population structure of the fungus in southern France. The sample comprised 101 isolates and was mainly of flag shoot origin, i.e., infection of sprouting shoots after overwintering of mycelium in buds. RAPD analysis identified different haplotypes that clustered in two genetic groups (A and B). The most frequent haplotypes of each group were found in several different locations in two areas separated by 100 km and throughout the 3 year period. Several haplotypes of both groups originated from flag shoots and were recovered over successive years indicating that there is no correlation between genetic group and overwintering mode. All isolates of group A were of mating type +, but those in group B could be either + or −. Lower genotypic diversity was detected within group A than within group B. These results were consistent with the hypothesis that group A reproduces only asexually.