The poor definition of variation in the ascochyta blight fungus (Ascochyta rabiei) has historically hindered breeding for resistance to the chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) blight disease in West Asia and North Africa. We have employed 14 RAPD markers and an oligonucleotide probe complementary to the microsatellite sequence (GATA)4 to construct a genotype-specific DNA fragment profile from periodically sampled Syrian field isolates of this fungus. By using conventional pathogenicity tests and genome analysis with RAPD and microsatellite markers, we demonstrated that the DNA markers distinguish variability within and among the major pathotypes of A. rabiei and resolved each pathotypes into several genotypes. The genetic diversity estimate based on DNA marker analysis within pathotypes was highest for the least-aggressive pathotype (pathotype I), followed by the aggressive (pathotype II) and the most-aggressive pathotype (pathotype III). The pair-wise genetic distance estimated for all the isolates varied from 0.00 to 0.39, indicating a range from a clonal to a diverse relationship. On the basis of genome analysis, and information on the spatial and temporal distribution of the pathogen, a general picture of A. rabiei evolution in Syria is proposed.
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Received: 10 January 1998 / Accepted: 23 January 1998
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Udupa, S., Weigand, F., Saxena, M. et al. Genotyping with RAPD and microsatellite markers resolves pathotype diversity in the ascochyta blight pathogen of chickpea. Theor Appl Genet 97, 299–307 (1998). https://doi.org/10.1007/s001220050899