, Volume 131, Issue 1, pp 39-48
Date: 21 Apr 2011

Diversity in genetic structure and chemotype composition of Fusarium graminearum sensu stricto populations causing wheat head blight in individual fields in Germany

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Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the most destructive diseases of wheat. Twelve small commercial wheat fields (size 1–3 hectares) were sampled in Germany for Fusarium populations at three spots per field with 10 heads each. PCR assays using generic primers confirmed 338 isolates as F.graminearum sensu stricto (s.s.) (64.9%) out of 521 Fusarium spp. that were further analyzed. Populations of F. graminearum s.s. in Germany contain three types of trichothecenes with a dominancy of 15-acetyldeoxynivalenol chemotype (92%) followed by 3-acetyldeoxynivalenol chemotype (6.8%) and a few isolates of nivalenol chemotype (1.2%). All these isolates were genotyped using 19 microsatellite loci. The 12 populations showed a high genetic diversity within the small scale sampling areas resulting in 300 different haplotypes. Genetic diversity within populations (71.2%) was considerably higher than among populations (28.8%) as shown by analysis of molecular variance. Gene flow (Nm) between populations ranged from 0.76–3.16. Composition of haplotypes of one population followed over 2 years changed considerably. No correlation between genetic and geographical distance was found. In conclusion, populations of F. graminearum s.s. in Germany display a tremendous genetic variation on a local scale with a restricted diversity among populations.