• haplotype;
  • late blight;
  • population genetics;
  • potato, SNPs;
  • SSRs

Late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, is an ongoing threat to potato and tomato crop production worldwide and considerable fundamental and applied research is conducted with the long-term aim of improved disease control. Understanding the mechanisms, processes and rates of P. infestans evolution is an important factor in predicting the effectiveness and durability of new management practices. A range of phenotypic and genotypic tests has been applied to achieve this goal, but each has limitations and new methods are sought. Recent progress in P. infestans genomics is providing the raw data for such methods and new high-throughput codominant biomolecular markers are currently being developed that have tremendous potential in the study of P. infestans population biology, epidemiology, ecology, genetics and evolution. This paper reviews some key applications, recommends some changes in approach and reports on the status and potential of new and existing methods for probing P. infestans genetic diversity.