Genetic characterization of the natural hybrid species Phytophthora alni as inferred from nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Fungal Genetics and Biology, Volume 43, Number 7, p.511 - 529 (2006)



Interspecific hybridization


The different subspecies of Phytophthora alni, P. alni subsp. alni (Paa), P. alni subsp. uniformis (Pau), and P. alni subsp. multiformis (Pam), are recent and widespread pathogens of alder in Europe. They are believed to be a group of emergent heteroploid hybrids between two phylogenetically close Phytophthora species. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analyses were performed, using a broad collection of P. alni and two closely related species, P. cambivora and P. fragariae. (Paa) possesses three different alleles for each of the nuclear genes we studied, two of which are present in Pam as well, whereas the third matches the single allele present in Pau. Moreover, Paa displays common mtDNA patterns with both Pam and Pau. A combination of the data suggests that Paa may have been generated on several occasions by hybridization between Pam and Pau, or their respective ancestors. Pau might have P. cambivora as a species ancestor, whereas Pam seems to have either been generated itself by an ancient reticulation or by autopolyploidization.


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