Genetic diversity and pathogenicity ofMonilinia polystroma– the new pathogen of cherries

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Abstract

Brown rot caused by fungi belonging to the genus Monilinia is one of the major limiting factors of sour and sweet cherry production. Up to now, three species, M. fructigena, M. laxa and M. fructicola, have been identified as causal agents of brown rot on cherries worldwide. From 2010 to 2013, during the monitoring of cherry orchards in different areas of Poland, a fourth species, M. polystroma, was isolated from brown rot symptoms on sour and sweet cherry fruits. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time M. polystroma has been reported as the causal agent of brown rot on cherries. The genetic diversity of M. polystroma isolates from cherries and other hosts was analysed using PCR MP, ISSR and RAPD techniques and showed its clear distinctness from other Monilinia spp. tested. The cluster analysis of fingerprinting data revealed a high similarity of M. polystroma isolates from Poland and their close relationship with the reference strain from Japan, indicating that this species is a recently introduced pathogen. The highest genetic distance between the examined isolates and the highest number of different genotypes was observed in an ISSR assay. Detailed genetic diversity characteristics revealed that M. polystroma isolates from cherries did not create a distinct group but were intermingled with M. polystroma isolates from other hosts. The results of the pathogenicity test conducted on different fruit species indicated a lack of host specificity for M. polystroma isolates.

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