• mating type;
  • metalaxyl resistance;
  • Phytophthora infestans;
  • potato late blight;
  • virulence phenotype

Phytophthora infestans was isolated from potato leaves and tubers collected from different parts of Finland in 1990–96 and Norway in 1993–96. Isolates were assessed for mating type, resistance to metalaxyl and virulence phenotype. In Finland 15% of 200 isolates tested and in Norway 25% of 642 tested were A2 mating type. Differences in the A1/A2 ratio were evident among regions and A2 was not found in northern areas. In Finland the frequency of metalaxyl-resistant isolates, among 1834 tested, decreased from 59% in 1990–95 to 2% in 1996. In Norway 59% of 491 isolates tested were resistant to metalaxyl in 1996. Among 269 Finnish and 105 Norwegian isolates, all known virulence genes were found in both countries and race was the most common (resistance gene R9 was not included in the differential set). Oospores were observed in potato leaves from three locations in the southern part of Norway. The implications of the ‘new’ populations in the Nordic countries are discussed.