European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 102, Issue 6, pp 569–576 | Cite as

Distribution ofLeptosphaeria maculans in two fields in southern Ontario as determined by the polymerase chain reaction

  • George S. Mahuku
  • Robert Hall
  • Paul H. Goodwin
Research Articles


The distribution of the highly virulent and weakly virulent types ofLeptosphaeria maculans, causal agent of blackleg of oilseed rape, was studied in two fields in southern Ontario. Using a polymerase chain reaction-based assay with primers specific for these virulence types, plant tissues were directly examined for the occurrence of the pathogen. The highly virulent type was detected in leaf, stem and crown tissue at most of the sampling sites. The weakly virulent type was detected only in leaf lesions at 50% of the sites in field 1 and 30% of the sites in field 2. Of 96 leaf lesions examined, 48 contained the highly virulent type, 12 contained the weakly virulent type and 16 contained both the highly virulent and weakly virulent types.Sclerotinia sclerotiorum was isolated from all leaf lesion that did not react withL. maculans virulence type-specific primers. Coinfection of single blackleg leaf lesions by bothL. maculans virulence types thus occurred in oilseed rape plants in the field. Only the highly virulent type was detected in pseudothecia on stubble. Approximately 1% of the seed collected from these two fields containedL. maculans, and both the highly virulent and weakly virulent types were detected. The highly virulent type was more prevalent and non-specific in the kind of plant tissue it infected, whereas the weakly virulent type appeared to be limited to infecting leaves and seed. This study illustrates an application of polymerase chain reaction with virulence type-specific oligonucleotide primers to study the epidemiology of blackleg of oilseed rape.

Key words

highly virulent weakly virulent 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • George S. Mahuku
    • 1
  • Robert Hall
    • 1
  • Paul H. Goodwin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental BiologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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