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Characterization of Phytophthora infestans Populations in Western Washington

    Authors and Affiliations
    • A. E. Dorrance , Department of Plant Pathology, The Ohio State University, Wooster 44691
    • D. A. Inglis
    • M. L. Derie , Washington State University, Mount Vernon-Research and Extension Unit, 16650 State Route 536, Mount Vernon 98273-9761
    • C. R. Brown , United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Irrigated Agricultural Research and Extension Center, Prosser, WA 99350
    • S. B. Goodwin , USDA-ARS, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907
    • W. E. Fry , Plant Pathology Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853
    • K. L. Deahl , USDA-ARS, Vegetable Laboratory, Beltsville, MD 20705

      Published Online:

      The first detection in the United States of isolates of Phytophthora infestans having metalaxyl insensitivity and complex pathotypes occurred in western Washington during the early 1990s. To determine the genetic structure of the current population in western Washington, a total of 115 isolates of P. infestans were obtained during 1996 from infected tubers or foliage of potato, tomato, nightshade, and bittersweet throughout the region. An additional 45 isolates were collected from a single field. Based on mating type, metalaxyl-insensitivity, and molecular markers (allozymes of glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, peptidase, and RG57 DNA fingerprint), all of the isolates were A1 mating type and had the US-11 multilocus genotype. Analyses of an additional 120 isolates collected during 1997 from potato, tomato, and nightshade were performed. As in 1996, US-11 was the predominant genotype detected on all three hosts. However, three additional A2 mating type genotypes were also detected: US-7, US-8, and US-14. These three genotypes represent the first A2 mating type isolates detected in western Washington. Most of a subset of 60 isolates infected 4 to 7 of the 10 potato differentials tested. This included 90% of the isolates collected in 1996 (all US-11), plus 72% of the US-11 and 100% of the US-8 and US-14 isolates collected during 1997. Virulence phenotypes in this region are complex even without the selection pressure of R-genes in the local commercial cultivars. The apparent increase in genetic variation observed in populations of P. infestans in western Washington from 1996 to 1997 most likely occurred by migration rather than by sexual recombination.