Analyses of the population structure in a global collection of Phytophthora nicotianae isolates inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Phytopathology, Volume Early release (2013)


Genetic variation within the heterothallic cosmopolitan plant pathogen Phytophthora nicotianae was determined in 96 isolates from a wide range of hosts and geographic locations by characterizing four mitochondrial (10% of the genome) and three nuclear loci. Fifty-two SNPs (average of 1 every 58 bp) and 313 sites with gaps representing 5450 bases, enabled the identification of 50 different multilocus mitochondrial haplotypes. Similarly, 24 SNPs (average of 1 every 69 bp), with heterozygosity observed at each locus, were observed in three nuclear regions (hyp, scp, β-tub) differentiating 40 multilocus nuclear genotypes. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers revealed a high level of dispersal of isolates and an inconsistent geographic structuring of populations. However, a specific association was observed for host of origin and genetic grouping with both nuclear and mitochondrial sequences. In particular, the majority of citrus isolates from Italy, California, Florida, Syria, Albania and Philippines clustered in the same mitochondrial group and shared at least one nuclear allele. A similar association was also observed for isolates recovered from Nicotiana spp. and Solanum spp. The present study suggests an important role of nursery populations in increasing genetic recombination within the species and the existence of extensive phenomena of migration of isolates that have been likely spread worldwide with infected plant material.