Molecular characterisation of Alternaria linicola and its detection in linseed

GJ McKay, AE Brown, AJ Bjourson, PC Mercer

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29 Citations (Scopus)


Nucleotide sequences of the ribosomal DNA(rDNA) internal transcribed spacers (ITS) 1 and 2 and a 1068 bp section of the beta-tubulin gene divided seven designated species of Alternaria into five taxa. Stemphylium botryosum formed a sixth closely related taxon. Isolates of A. linicola possessed an identical ITS sequence to one group of A. solani isolates, and two clusters of A. linicola isolates, revealed from beta-tubulin gene data to show minor variation, were as genetically similar to isolates of A. solani as they were to each other. We suggest, therefore, that A. linicola falls within the species A. solani. Similar results suggest that A. lini falls within the species A. alternata. RAPD analysis of the total genomic DNA from the Alternaria spp. concurred with the nucleotide sequence analyses. An oligonucleotide primer (ALP) was selected from the rDNA ITS1 region of A. linicola/A. solani. PCR with primers ALP and ITS4 (from a conserved region of the rDNA) amplified a c. 536 bp fragment from isolates of A. linicola and A. solani but not from other Alternaria spp. nor from other fungi which may be associated with linseed. These primers amplified an identical fragment, confirmed by Southern hybridization, from DNA released from infected linseed seed and leaf tissues. These primers have the potential to be used also for the detection of A. solani in host tissues.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-166
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Feb 1999


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