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Genetic structure of Italian population of the grapevine downy mildew agent, Plasmopara viticola

Abstract : Downy mildew, caused by the Oomycete Plasmopara viticola, is one of the most important diseases affecting the Eurasian grapevine, Vitis vinifera. The pathogen originated in Northern America and its presence was signalled for the first time into Europe in 1878. In this study, the genetic variability and structure of Italian P. viticola population was investigated by genotyping 106 P. viticola strains belonging to 12 different regions, at 31 microsatellite markers. As a result of the high percentage of missing data, 96 strains and 19 loci were retained for the data analysis. The overall Italian population presents absence of clones, evidence of sexual and asexual reproduction and a low genetic diversity, as expected for an introduced pathogen, but a slightly higher genetic diversity than that found in other European populations, based on allelic diversity at the investigated microsatellite loci. Out of 19 loci, half shows deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and, indeed, structure analysis indicates the presence of two separate genetic clusters, with little but significantly different distribution according to geography (west-east gradient) and climatic conditions. Overall, the analysis of the P. viticola population, 140 years after its appearance in Italy, provides indication on the pathogen adaptability. This should be taken into consideration in the future for preserving the durability of disease resistant varieties in open field. In this view, all the disease control methods available should be integrated in order to reduce the selection of pathogen strains able to overcome plant resistance.
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Contributor : Marion Desailly <>
Submitted on : Friday, March 19, 2021 - 10:42:37 AM
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Giuliana Maddalena, François Delmotte, Piero Attilio Bianco, Gabriella de Lorenzis, Silvia Laura Toffolatti. Genetic structure of Italian population of the grapevine downy mildew agent, Plasmopara viticola. Annals of Applied Biology, Wiley, 2020, 176 (3), pp.257-267. ⟨10.1111/aab.12567⟩. ⟨hal-03174400⟩



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