European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 135, Issue 4, pp 889–902 | Cite as

Characterisation of benzimidazole resistance of Cercospora beticola in Serbia using PCR-based detection of resistance-associated mutations of the β-tubulin gene

  • Nenad Trkulja
  • Žarko Ivanović
  • Erika Pfaf-Dolovac
  • Nenad Dolovac
  • Milana Mitrović
  • Ivo Toševski
  • Jelena Jović
Original Research


A survey to detect and characterise benzimidazole resistance within populations of Cercospora beticola in Serbia was performed. From 52 field isolates collected from sugar beet and beet root, only eight were found to be benzimidazole-sensitive based on the inhibition of mycelial growth by discriminatory concentrations of carbendazim and thiophanate-methyl. Sensitivity tests revealed the presence of three resistant phenotypes among the tested isolates: high-resistance (HR), low-resistance (LR) and moderate-resistance (MR). The benzimidazole resistant isolates were characterised based on the DNA sequence of the β-tubulin gene and temperature sensitivity. The HR isolates showed no temperature sensitivity regardless of carbendazim concentration, whereas the LR and MR isolates were sensitive at lower temperatures. Analysis of the β-tubulin gene sequence revealed two amino acid replacements in the benzimidazole-resistant isolates of C. beticola. One was a glutamic acid to alanine change at position 198 (codon GAG to GCG) that was identified in HR isolates; this mutation has previously been reported to be associated with the development of benzimidazole resistance in C. beticola. The second replacement was a novel point mutation of phenylalanine (TTC) to tyrosine (TAC) at position 167, identified in low and moderate benzimidazole-resistant isolates, sharing a single LR/MR β-tubulin genotype. A diagnostic PCR-RFLP assay utilising a BsaI restriction site present in the benzimidazole sensitive and LR/MR genotypes but absent in the HR genotype was developed for the routine detection of high resistance. A mutation-specific PCR assay was developed for the diagnosis of LR/MR genotype based on a mutation from T to A at codon 167, which is unique to this genotype.


Cercospora leaf spot Novel point mutation Phe167Tyr PCR-RFLP diagnostics PCR mutation-specific diagnostic assay Sugar beet Temperature sensitivity 



We thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. This research was supported by the grants number TR31018 and III43001 from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia.


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Copyright information

© KNPV 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nenad Trkulja
    • 1
  • Žarko Ivanović
    • 1
  • Erika Pfaf-Dolovac
    • 1
  • Nenad Dolovac
    • 1
  • Milana Mitrović
    • 2
  • Ivo Toševski
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jelena Jović
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Plant DiseaseInstitute for Plant Protection and EnvironmentBelgradeSerbia
  2. 2.Department of Plant PestsInstitute for Plant Protection and EnvironmentZemunSerbia
  3. 3.CABI Europe—SwitzerlandDelémontSwitzerland

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