Research Article

Estimation of genetic structure of a Mycosphaerella musicola population using inter-simple sequence repeat markers

Abstract

Among the diseases affecting banana (Musa sp), yellow Sigatoka, caused by the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella musicola Leach, is considered one of the most important in Brazil, causing losses throughout the year. Understanding the genetic structure of pathogen populations will provide insight into the life history of pathogens, including the evolutionary processes occurring in agrosystems. Tools for estimating the possible emergence of pathogen variants with altered pathogenicity, virulence, or aggressiveness, as well as resistance to systemic fungicides, can also be developed from such data. The objective of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity and population genetics of M. musicola in the main banana-producing regions in Brazil. A total of 83 isolates collected from different banana cultivars in the Brazilian states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, and Minas Gerais were evaluated using inter-simple sequence repeat markers. High variability was detected between the isolates, and 85.5% of the haplotypes were singletons in the populations. The highest source of genetic diversity (97.22%) was attributed to variations within populations. Bayesian cluster analysis revealed the presence of 2 probable ancestral groups, however, showed no relationship to population structure in terms of collection site, state of origin, or cultivar. Similarly, we detected noevidence of genetic recombination between individuals within different states, indicating that asexual cycles play a major role in M. musicola reproduction and that long-distance dispersal of the pathogen is the main factor contributing to the lack of population structure in the fungus.

Among the diseases affecting banana (Musa sp), yellow Sigatoka, caused by the fungal pathogen Mycosphaerella musicola Leach, is considered one of the most important in Brazil, causing losses throughout the year. Understanding the genetic structure of pathogen populations will provide insight into the life history of pathogens, including the evolutionary processes occurring in agrosystems. Tools for estimating the possible emergence of pathogen variants with altered pathogenicity, virulence, or aggressiveness, as well as resistance to systemic fungicides, can also be developed from such data. The objective of this study was to analyze the genetic diversity and population genetics of M. musicola in the main banana-producing regions in Brazil. A total of 83 isolates collected from different banana cultivars in the Brazilian states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, and Minas Gerais were evaluated using inter-simple sequence repeat markers. High variability was detected between the isolates, and 85.5% of the haplotypes were singletons in the populations. The highest source of genetic diversity (97.22%) was attributed to variations within populations. Bayesian cluster analysis revealed the presence of 2 probable ancestral groups, however, showed no relationship to population structure in terms of collection site, state of origin, or cultivar. Similarly, we detected noevidence of genetic recombination between individuals within different states, indicating that asexual cycles play a major role in M. musicola reproduction and that long-distance dispersal of the pathogen is the main factor contributing to the lack of population structure in the fungus.