Background Zymoseptoria tritici is a hemibiotrophic ascomycete fungus causing leaf blotch of wheat that often decreases yield severely. Populations of the fungus are known to be highly diverse and poorly differentiated from each other. However, a genotyping tool is needed to address further questions in large collections of isolates, regarding regional population structure, adaptation to anthropogenic selective pressures, and dynamics of the recently discovered accessory chromosomes. This procedure is limited by costly and time-consuming simplex PCR genotyping. Recent development of genomic approaches and of larger sets of SSRs enabled the optimization of microsatellite multiplexing. Findings We report here a reliable protocol to amplify 24 SSRs organized in three multiplex panels, and covering all Z. tritici chromosomes. We also propose an automatic allele assignment procedure, which allows scoring alleles in a repeatable manner across studies and laboratories. All together, these tools enabled us to characterize local and worldwide populations and to calculate diversity indexes consistent with results reported in the literature. Conclusion This easy-to-use, accurate, repeatable, economical, and faster technical strategy can provide useful genetic information for evolutionary inferences concerning Z. tritici populations. Moreover, it will facilitate the comparison of studies from different scientific groups.
Gautier, A., Marcel, T. C., Confais, J., Crane, C., Kema, G. H. J., Suffert, F., & Walker, A. S. (2014). Development of a rapid multiplex SSR genotyping method to study populations of the fun-gal plant pathogen Zymoseptoria tritici. BMC Research Notes, 7, . https://doi.org/10.1186/1756-0500-7-373