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Genetic diversity of Meloidogyne spp. parasitising potato in Brazil and aggressiveness of M. javanica populations on susceptible cultivars

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Root-knot nematodes (Meloidogyne spp.) significantly impact potato production worldwide and in Brazil they are considered one of the most important group of nematodes affecting potatoes. The objectives of this study were to survey Meloidogyne spp. associated with potatoes in Brazil, determine their genetic diversity and assess the aggressiveness of M. javanica on two susceptible potato cultivars. Fifty-seven root-knot nematode populations were identified using esterase phenotyping, including Meloidogyne javanica, M. incognita, M. arenaria and M. ethiopica. Overall, root-knot nematodes were present in ca 43% of sampled sites, in which M. javanica was the most prevalent species, and the phenotypes Est J3, J2a and J2 occurred in 91.2, 6.7 and 2.1% of the positive samples, respectively. Other species, such as M. incognita, M. arenaria and M. ethiopica, were found less frequently and occurred at rates of 6.4, 4.3 and 2.1% of the samples, respectively. Sometimes, M. javanica was found in mixtures with other root-knot nematodes in ca 10.6% of sites containing Meloidogyne. After confirming the identification of 17 isolates of M. javanica and one isolate each of M. incognita, M. arenaria and M. ethiopica by SCAR markers, the populations were used to infer their genetic diversity using RAPD markers. Results revealed low intraspecifc genetic diversity among isolates (13.9%) for M. javanica. Similarly, M. javanica sub-populations (J2a) clustered together (81% of bootstrap), indicating subtle variation from typical J3 populations. The aggressiveness of four populations of M. javanica from different Brazilian states on two susceptible potato cultivars was tested under glasshouse conditions. Results indicated differences in aggressiveness among these populations and showed that potato disease was proportional to nematode reproduction factor.

Affiliations: 1: 1Universidade Federal de Pelotas, CP 354, Pelotas, RS 96010-900, Brazil ; 2: 2Embrapa – Clima Temperado, CP 403, Pelotas, RS 96010-971, Brazil ; 3: 3Embrapa Recursos Genéticos e Biotecnologia, CP 02372, Brasília, DF 70849-970, Brazil ; 4: 4INRA-UMR 1355, UNS, CNRS-UMR 7254, Institut Sophia Agrobiotech, 400 route des Chappes BP167, 06903 Sophia Antipolis, France

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