CucCAP researches reveal Phytophthora capsici loci involved in mating type and mefenoxam sensitivity

The soilborne pathogen Phytophthora capsici causes a disease known as Phytophthora blight, which can cause severe yield losses in all cucurbit crops. In this study, researchers at Cornell collected 252 strains of the pathogen from across New York State and sequenced portions of their DNA in order to characterize the genetic structure of the pathogen population. They found that strains from the same farms tended to be highly similar to one other and differentiated from those collected on other farms, even those in close geographic proximity, consistent with plant pathologists’ understanding of the limited dispersal abilities of this pathogen. In addition, researchers found regions of the genome that were associated with variation in the pathogen’s mating type and sensitivity to the commonly used fungicide mefenoxam. This information can be used in the future for the development of diagnostic molecular markers to quickly assay newly collected strains for their fungicide sensitivity and ability to sexually reproduce.

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