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Genetic diversity of polysporic isolates of Moniliophthora perniciosa (Tricholomataceae)

Author(s): L.F.R. Ferreira, K.M.R. Duarte, L.H. Gomes, R.S. Carvalho, G.A. Leal Junior, M.M. Aguiar, R.D. Armas and F.C.A. Tavares

The causal agent of witches’ broom disease, Moniliophthora perniciosa is a hemibiotrophic and endemic fungus of the Amazon basin and the most important cocoa disease in Brazil. The purpose of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity of polysporic isolates of M. perniciosa to evaluate the adaptation of the pathogen from different Brazilian regions and its association with different hosts. Polysporic isolates obtained previously in potato dextrose agar cultures of M. perniciosa fromdifferent Brazilian states and different hosts (Theobroma cacao, Solanum cernuum, S. paniculatum, S. lycocarpum, Solanum sp, and others) were analyzed by somatic compatibility grouping where the mycelium interactions were distinguished after 4-8 weeks of confrontation between the different isolates of M. perniciosa based on the precipitation line in the transition zone and by protein electrophoresis through SDS-PAGE. The diversity of polysporic isolates of M. perniciosa was grouped according to geographic proximity and respective hosts. The great genetic diversity of M. perniciosa strains from different Brazilian states and hosts favored adaptation in unusual environments and dissemination at long distances generating new biotypes.