Genetic variation in Pythium myriotylum based on SNP typing and development of a PCR-RFLP detection of isolates recovered from Pythium soft rot ginger

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Pythium myriotylum is responsible for severe losses in both capsicum and ginger crops in Australia under different regimes. Intraspecific genomic variation within the pathogen might explain the differences in aggressiveness and pathogenicity on diverse hosts. In this study, whole genome data of four P. myriotylum isolates recovered from three hosts and one Pythium zingiberis isolate were derived and analysed for sequence diversity based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). A higher number of true and unique SNPs occurred in P. myriotylum isolates obtained from ginger with symptoms of Pythium soft rot (PSR) in Australia compared to other P. myriotylum isolates. Overall, SNPs were discovered more in the mitochondrial genome than those in the nuclear genome. Among the SNPs, a single substitution from the cytosine (C) to the thymine (T) in the partially sequenced CoxII gene of 14 representatives of PSR P. myriotylum isolates was within a restriction site of HinP1I enzyme which was used in the PCR-RFLP for detection and identification of the isolates without sequencing. The PCR-RFLP was also sensitive to detect PSR P. myriotylum strains from artificially infected ginger without the need for isolation for pure cultures.

Significance and Impact of the Study:

This is the first study of intraspecific variants of Pythium myriotylum isolates recovered from different hosts and origins based on single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping of multiple genes. The SNPs discovered provide valuable makers for detection and identification of P. myriotylum strains initially isolated from Pythium soft rot (PSR) ginger by using PCR-RFLP of the CoxII locus. The PCR-RFLP was also sensitive to detect P. myriotylum directly from PSR ginger sampled from pot trials without the need of isolation for pure cultures.

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