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Recent range expansion and agricultural landscape heterogeneity have only minimal effect on the spatial genetic structure of the plant pathogenic fungus Mycosphaerella fijiensis

Rieux A., De Lapeyre de Bellaire L., Zapater M.F., Ravigné V., Carlier J.. 2013. Heredity, 110 (1) : p. 29-38.

Understanding how geographical and environmental features affect genetic variation at both the population and individual levels is crucial in biology, especially in the case of pathogens. However, distinguishing between these factors and the effects of historical range expansion on spatial genetic structure remains challenging. In the present study, we investigated the case of Mycosphaerella fijiensis-a plant pathogenic fungus that has recently colonized an agricultural landscape characterized by the presence of potential barriers to gene flow, including several commercial plantations in which disease control practises such as the use of fungicides are applied frequently, and low host density areas. We first genotyped 300 isolates sampled at a global scale on untreated plants in two dimensions over a 50_80-km area. Using two different clustering algorithms, no genetic structure was detected in the studied area, suggesting expansion of large populations and/or no influence of potential barriers. Second, we investigated the potential effect of disease control practises on M. fijiensis diversity by comparing populations sampled in commercial vs food-crop plantations. At this local scale, we detected significantly higher allelic richness inside commercial plantations compared with the surrounding food-crop plantation populations. Analysis of molecular variance indicated that 99% of the total genetic variance occurred within populations. We discuss the suggestion that high population size and/or high migration rate between populations might be responsible for the absence of any effect of disease control practises on genetic diversity and differentiation.

Mots-clés : maladie des raies noires; dynamique des populations; distribution spatiale; variation génétique; contrôle de maladies; pratique culturale; flux de gènes; mycosphaerella fijiensis; cameroun; Émergence

Thématique : Maladies des plantes

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