The Journal of Microbiology

, Volume 49, Issue 6, pp 1039–1043 | Cite as

Mitochondrial phylogeny reveals intraspecific variation in Peronospora effusa, the spinach downy mildew pathogen

  • Young-Joon Choi
  • Marco Thines
  • Jae-Gu Han
  • Hyeon-Dong Shin


Since about two hundred years, downy mildew caused by Peronospora effusa is probably the most economically important disease of spinach (Spinacia oleracea). However, there is no information on the global phylogeographic structure of the pathogen and thus it is unclear whether a single genotype occurs worldwide or whether some local genetic variation exists. To investigate the genetic variability of this pathogen, a sequence analysis of two partial mitochondrial DNA genes, cox2 and nad1, was carried out. Thirty-three specimens of Peronospora effusa from four continents were analyzed, including samples from Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Sweden, and the USA. Despite the potential anthropogenic admixture of genotypes, a phylogeographic pattern was observed, which corresponds to two major groups, an Asian/Oceanian clade and another group, which includes American/European specimens. Notably, two of six Japanese specimens investigated did not belong to the Asian/Oceanian clade, but were identical to three of the specimens from the USA, suggestive of a recent introduction from the USA to Japan. As similar introduction events may be occurring as a result of the globalised trade with plant and seed material, a better knowledge of the phylogeographic distribution of pathogens is highly warranted for food security purposes.


obligate parasites Oomycetes phylogeographic distribution plant pathogen quarantine 


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Copyright information

© The Microbiological Society of Korea and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg  2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Young-Joon Choi
    • 1
  • Marco Thines
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jae-Gu Han
    • 4
  • Hyeon-Dong Shin
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Organismic and Evolutionary BiologyHarvard UniversityCambridgeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Biological Sciences, Institute of Ecology, Evolution and DiversityJohann Wolfgang Goethe UniversityFrankfurt (Main)Germany
  3. 3.Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre (BiK-F)Frankfurt (Main)Germany
  4. 4.Division of Environmental Science and Ecological EngineeringKorea UniversitySeoulRepublic of Korea

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