Genetic differentiation between hosts and locations in populations of latent Botrytis cinerea in southern England




This study tested the hypothesis that aggressive, localized infections and asymptomatic systemic infections were caused by distinct specialized groups of Botrytis cinerea, using microsatellite genotypes at nine loci of 243 isolates of B. cinerea obtained from four hosts (strawberry (Fragaria×ananassa), blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.), dandelion, (Taraxacum officinale agg.) and primrose (Primula vulgaris)) in three regions in southern England (in the vicinities of Brighton, Reading and Bath). The populations were extremely variable, with up to 20 alleles per locus and high genic diversity. Each host in each region had a population of B. cinerea with distinctive genetic features, and there were also consistent host and regional distinctions. The B. cinerea population from strawberry was distinguished from that on other hosts, including blackberry, most notably by a common 154-bp amplicon at locus 5 (present in 35 of 77 samples) that was rare in isolates from other hosts (9/166), and by the rarity (3/77) of a 112-bp allele at locus 7 that was common (58/166) in isolates from other hosts. There was significant linkage disequilibrium overall within the B. cinerea populations on blackberry and strawberry, but with quite different patterns of association among isolates from the two hosts. No evidence was found for differentiation between populations of B. cinerea from systemically infected hosts and those from locally infected fruits.