Low diversity of vegetative compatibility types and mating type of Cryphonectria parasitica in the southern Balkans

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Abstract

The diversity of vegetative compatibility (vc) types and mating type was estimated in populations of the chestnut blight fungus, Cryphonectria parasitica, throughout Macedonia and from selected areas in Greece. Nearly all of the 786 isolates (94%) from Macedonia were in a single vc type, EU-12; all 379 isolates from Greece were EU-12. Only six of 20 populations in Macedonia had more than one vc type. The diversity of vc types in the most diverse populations of Macedonia was comparable with the least diverse populations found previously in Italy. All but six of the 313 isolates assayed had the same mating type, MAT-1, and no perithecia of Cryphonectria parasitica were observed in any population. These results lead to the conclusion that sexual reproduction does not occur in these populations. The lack of vc type diversity may indicate a high potential for the spread of hypoviruses and successful biological control with transmissible hypovirulence. However, if sexual reproduction should occur in Macedonian populations, up to 32 vc types would be possible by recombination among vegetative incompatibility loci.

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