Accurate identification of Pythium species, the causal agents of Pythium root rot and dumping-off of seedlings, and characterization of populations within the species would greatly assist in selecting and implementing control strategies for these pathogens. Several molecular techniques offer methods for accurate and rapid identification of species, but provide little information about their populations. In this study, amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprinting was used to characterize plant-pathogenic Pythium species and intraspecific populations. Species-diagnostic AFLP fingerprints for Pythium aphanidermatum, P. irregulare, and P. ultimum, and tentative fingerprints for six other species, were identified. Intraspecific distance analyses of P. aphanidermatum, P. ultimum, and P. irregulare revealed distinct patterns of intraspecific variation among the three species. P. aphanidermatum showed the smallest mean distance among isolates (15%), followed by P. ultimum (37%). P. irregulare had the largest mean distance among isolates (64%), which were divided into two populations with great genetic differentiation (FST = 0.2), suggesting the presence of a cryptic species boundary within this species.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agronomy and Crop Science
- Plant Science