Intraspecific diversity within avocado field isolates of Rosellinia necatrix from south-east Spain

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Fifty-five isolates of Rosellinia necatrix, the cause of common avocado white root rot disease, were collected from south-east Spain and characterised according to their virulence behaviour and their molecular patterns to assess broader levels of genetic diversity. Virulence properties were revealed by in vitro inoculation on avocado plants. Differences in reaction types showed variability among these isolates. No sequence differences were observed when the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) and ITS2 regions and DNA fragments of the β-tubulin, adenosine triphosphatase and translation elongation factor 1 genes were explored in representive isolates from five virulence groups. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) amplifications were also performed for each isolate using 19 random primers. Four of these primers revealed polymorphism among isolates and repetitive and discriminative bands were used to build an unweighted pair group with arithmetic mean tree. However, RAPD clustering showed low stability, and no correlation between RAPD and virulence groups was observed, possibly indicating high levels of sexual recombination.

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