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Keywords:

  • Botryotinia fuckeliana;
  • cytochrome b;
  • fluorescent probe;
  • grey mould;
  • QoI fungicides;
  • real-time PCR

Botrytis cinerea field isolates collected in Japan were screened for resistance to Qo inhibitor fungicides (QoIs). Of the 198 isolates screened, six grew well on a medium containing azoxystrobin, a QoI, when salicylhydroxamic acid, an alternative oxidase inhibitor, was present. The resistance mutation in the cytochrome b gene (cytb) was characterized. All QoI-resistant isolates had the same mutation (GGT to GCT) in cytb that led to the substitution of glycine by alanine at position 143 of cytochrome b, which is known to confer QoI resistance in plant pathogens. To detect this mutation, a hybridization probe assay based on real-time PCR amplification and melting curve analysis was developed. Using DNA samples prepared from aubergines coinfected with QoI-resistant and QoI-sensitive B. cinerea isolates, two similar peak profiles with their corresponding melting temperatures were obtained. This result suggests that QoI-resistant and QoI-sensitive isolates may compete equally in terms of pathogenicity, and the assay may be used to assess the population ratio of mutant and wild-type isolates. However, the hybridization probe did not anneal to PCR products derived from the DNA samples of some QoI-sensitive isolates. Structural analysis of cytb revealed that B. cinerea field isolates could be classified into two groups: one with three introns and the other with an additional intron (Bcbi-143/144 intron) inserted between the 143rd and 144th codons. All 88 isolates possessing the Bcbi-143/144 intron were azoxystrobin-sensitive, suggesting that the QoI-resistant mutation at codon 143 in cytb prevents self-splicing of the Bcbi-143/144 intron, as proposed in some other plant pathogens.