Assessing the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum in France
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White mould caused by the ascomycete Sclerotinia sclerotiorum affects the production of many economically important crops. The incidence of this disease has recently increased in France, especially in melon crops, which were not affected much in the past. One possible explanation for this situation is the emergence of strains with particular characteristics, including increased aggressiveness to melon. To test this hypothesis, 200 isolates of S. sclerotiorum were collected from six host crops (bean, brassica oilseed rape, carrot, lettuce, melon, witloof chicory) in different regions. They were genotyped with 16 microsatellites markers. A subsample of 96 isolates were assessed for their aggressiveness on melon leaves. Overall, the isolates from melon did not show higher aggressiveness on melon leaves than those which originated from other host plants. Moreover, the melon isolates did not present distinctive genetic characteristics in comparison with those from other crops and shared several of the 128 identified multilocus haplotypes with isolates collected from carrot, witloof chicory and oilseed rape. Furthermore the Bayesian analysis of the genetic structure indicated that the host plant is not a structuring factor of the three genetic clusters identified, and it suggested instead the occurrence of an isolation-by-distance process. Possible consequences of these results for the management of white mould and alternative hypotheses to explain the recent changes in disease incidence are presented.
KeywordsWhite mould Microsatellites Aggressiveness Vegetable Melon
This study was supported in part by a CASDAR grant of the French Ministry of Agriculture (SCLEROLEG Project) and by the Groupement d’Intérêt Scientifique pour la Production Intégrée des Cultures légumières” (GIS PIClég). The authors thank all the field experimenters of the technical institutes (ACPEL, APEF, CEFEL, INVENIO, Terres Inovia, SILEBAN, UNILET) who collaborated in the project and who collected the isolates used in the present study.
Compliance with ethical standards
The research presented in this paper was supported in part by a CASDAR grant of the French Ministry of Agriculture (SCLEROLEG Project) and by the Groupement d’Intérêt Scientifique pour la Production Intégrée des Cultures légumières” (GIS PIClég).
The authors declare that this research was performed according to the ethical standards.
All the authors agreed to submit this manuscript in this current version.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare to have no conflict of interest.
Human and animal rights and informed consent
The research did not involve human participants and/or animals.
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