Oidium neolycopersici: Intra-specific variability inferred from AFLP analysis and relationship with closely related powdery mildew fungi infecting various plant species

T. Jankovics, Y. Bai, G.M. Kovacs, M. Bardin, P.C. Nicot, H. Toyoda, Y. Matsuda, R.E. Niks, L. Kiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Previous works indicated a considerable variation in the pathogenicity, virulence, and host range of Oidium neolycopersici isolates causing tomato powdery mildew epidemics in many parts of the world. In this study, rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) sequences, and amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) patterns were analyzed in 17 O. neolycopersici samples collected in Europe, North America, and Japan, including those which overcame some of the tomato major resistance genes. The ITS sequences were identical in all 10 samples tested and were also identical to ITS sequences of eight previously studied O. neolycopersici specimens. The AFLP analysis revealed a high genetic diversity in O. neolycopersici and indicated that all 17 samples represented different genotypes. This might suggest the existence of either a yet unrevealed sexual reproduction or other genetic mechanisms that maintain a high genetic variability in O. neolycopersici. No clear correlation was found between the virulence and the AFLP patterns of the O. neolycopersici isolates studied. The relationship between O. neolycopersici and powdery mildew anamorphs infecting Aquilegia vulgaris, Chelidonium majus, Passiflora caerulea, and Sedum alboroseum was also investigated. These anamorphs are morphologically indistinguishable from and phylogenetically closely related to O. neolycopersici. The cross-inoculation tests and the analyses of ITS sequences and AFLP patterns jointly indicated that the powdery mildew anamorphs collected from the above mentioned plant species all represent distinct, but closely related species according to the phylogenetic species recognition. All these species were pathogenic only to their original host plant species, except O. neolycopersici which infected S. alboroseum, tobacco, petunia, and Arabidopsis thaliana, in addition to tomato, in cross-inoculation tests. This is the first genome-wide study that investigates the relationships among powdery mildews that are closely related based on ITS sequences and morphology. The results indicate that morphologically indistinguishable powdery mildews that differed in only one to five single nucleotide positions in their ITS region are to be considered as different taxa with distinct host ranges
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-540
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • ribosomal dna-sequences
  • nuclear rdna sequences
  • host-range
  • evolutionary analysis
  • nucleotide-sequences
  • blumeria-graminis
  • genetic-variation
  • tomato
  • identification
  • resistance

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