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Molecular and virulence relationships among races of Ustilago tritici collected from durum and bread wheat

Randhawa, H.S., Matheson, F., Menzies, J.G., Fox, S.L. (2009). Molecular and virulence relationships among races of Ustilago tritici collected from durum and bread wheat, 31(2), 220-231. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07060660909507595

Abstract

A number of races for loose smut disease of wheat, caused by Ustilago tritici, exist in western Canada, which causes significant economic losses on both durum (Triticum turgidum var. durum) and bread wheats (T. aestivum). The genetic relationships of molecular variability and virulence pattern among these races is unknown. A total of 85 isolates of 19 races of Ustilago tritici collected from durum and bread wheat were studied using molecular and virulence data. Eleven EcoRI and MseI primer-pair combinations were used for an amplified fragment length polymorphism analysis, and a total of 52 polymorphic fragments were generated. Virulence data from the wheat loose smut differential set were used for cluster analysis using the unweighted pair group method with arithmetic averages method. Cluster analysis from molecular and virulence data showed that races collected from durum wheat cultivars were grouped separately from those races collected from bread wheat. Most races were virulent only on either bread wheat or durum wheat, but race T39 has complex virulence and can infect both species. The study revealed that molecular diversity in U. tritici can be associated with virulence patterns. Further, grouping of races based on molecular data suggested that new races emerge from existing races by recombining virulence.

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