Fusarium culmorum is a haploid, worldwide occurring phytopathogenic fungus causing seedling blight, foot rot, and head blight of cereals and producing the mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV) associated with health hazards in human and animals. The fungus reproduces asexually by conidiospores, a teleomorph is not known. We analyzed for the first time naturally occurring F. culmorum populations collected randomly in the field from infected wheat heads. A total of 186 isolates, from three populations from Germany (GER), Russia (RUS), Syria (SYR), as well as an international collection (INT) for comparison, were genotyped by 10 microsatellite (SSR, single sequence repeat) markers. A high genetic diversity within the three natural populations and the INT population as well was detected. About 90 % of multi-locus haplotypes (MLH) were unique across populations. The largest part of variance (81 %) was found within populations. Accordingly, population subdivision was low, fixation indices were significant only in one out of six comparisons, while estimates of gene flow (N m ) ranged from 0.8–4.8. Linkage equilibrium was revealed by the index of multi-locus association and the quotient of observed and expected variance when two linked markers were deleted. DON and NIV chemotypes grouped closely together in a principle coordinate analysis. SYR isolates were partly separated from GER and RUS populations. All population-genetic parameters were in a similar range compared to those for the sexually propagating species F. graminearum. In conclusion, results support the hypothesis of a recombining structure in F. culmorum as revealed by the high genetic variation within populations, a low fixation index and low gametic phase disequilibrium within populations.
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This study was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Bonn, Germany, by grants to FT and FC, and the State Plant Breeding Institute of the Universitaet Hohenheim, Germany. We thank Prof. Dr. M. Levitin and Dr. T. Yu. Gagkaeva (All-Russian Institute of Plant Protection, Saint-Petersburg, Russia) for generously sharing the RUS population with us.
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Details of the isolates from the international collection (NA = not available) (DOCX 29 kb)
Name, use and sequence of oligonucleotides and the product size (DOCX 27 kb)
Determination of the optimal number of clusters (K) among all isolates used in this study (DOCX 67.3 kb)
Variation among (Va) and between (Vb) populations, fixation index (Fst) and gene flow (Nm) for the individual ten SSR loci (DOCX 21 kb)
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Miedaner, T., Caixeta, F. & Talas, F. Head-blighting populations of Fusarium culmorum from Germany, Russia, and Syria analyzed by microsatellite markers show a recombining structure. Eur J Plant Pathol 137, 743–752 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10658-013-0284-6
- Fungal populations
- Fusarium head blight
- Population structure