The population structure of the Phytophthora infestans populations that caused the recent 2013–14 late blight epidemic in eastern India (EI) and northeastern India (NEI) was examined. The data provide new baseline information for populations of P. infestans in India. A migrant European 13_A2 genotype was responsible for the 2013–14 epidemic, replacing the existing populations. Mutations have generated substantial sub-clonal variation with 24 multi-locus genotypes (MLGs) found, of which 19 were unique variants not yet reported elsewhere globally. Samples from West Bengal were the most diverse and grouped alongside MLGs found in Europe, the UK and from neighbouring Bangladesh but were not linked directly to most samples from south India. The pathogen population was broadly more aggressive on potato than on tomato and resistant to the fungicide metalaxyl. Pathogen population diversity was higher in regions around the international borders with Bangladesh and Nepal. Overall, the multiple shared MLGs suggested genetic contributions from UK and Europe in addition to a sub-structure based on the geographical location within India. Our data indicate the need for improved phytosanitary procedures and continuous surveillance to prevent the further introduction of aggressive lineages of P. infestans into the country.
Scientific Reports – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 13, 2018
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