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Keywords:

  • Phytophthora infestans;
  • late blight;
  • SSR genotypes;
  • fungicides;
  • mating type;
  • sporulation capacity;
  • lesion size;
  • climate change

Abstract

A total of 241 isolates of Phytophthora infestans were collected in 1997, 2006 and 2007 in eight European countries and characterized with molecular markers (simple sequence repeats, SSR genotypes) and phenotypic traits such as sensitivity to fungicides, mating type and aggressiveness. The mating type distribution changed from mainly A1 in 1997 to a majority of A2 in 2007. No resistant isolates were detected for fluazinam and mandipropamid, whereas the proportion of isolates resistant to mefenoxam (MFX) was high and increased over the years. There was no genetic link between mating type and MFX resistance. Aggressiveness (product between lesion expansion and sporulation capacity) was slightly higher for MFX-resistant compared to sensitive isolates and for isolates collected later compared to earlier in the same season. It was about equally high for A1 and A2 types, and for French isolates in 1997 and British isolates in 2007, but lower for French isolates in 2007. Six different SSR genotype families were distinguished. In 1997, populations were dominated by genotype families I and III/IV, which significantly declined in 2007 being largely displaced by genotype families II (‘blue 13’ type) and V, which are by coincidence mainly A2 MFX resistant and A1 MFX sensitive, respectively. However, mating type and MFX resistance were genetically not linked to SSR genotypes.