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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: THE BIOLOGY OF PHYTOPHTHORA INFESTANS AT ITS CENTER OF ORIGIN

Authors
item Grunwald, Niklaus
item Flier, Wilbert - PLANT RESEARCH INTNL

Submitted to: Annual Review of Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 4, 2005
Publication Date: October 1, 2005
Citation: Grunwald, N.J., Flier, W.G. 2005. The biology of phytophthora infestans at its center of origin. Annual Review of Phytopathology. 43:171-190.

Interpretive Summary: The central highlands of Mexico are considered to be a center of genetic diversity for both the potato late blight pathogen (Phytophthora infestans)and for tuber-bearing potato (Solanum) species. Recent work conducted in Mexico sheds new light on the biology and evolution of Phytophthora infestans and other related Phytophthora pathogens. It now appears that Mexican potato species that coevolved with the potato late blight pathogen not only provide a source of R-genes but also provide a source of resistance that is high, stable and durable. It is now apparent that Mexico is not only the center of origin of the potato late blight pathogen P. infestans, but also of several related Phytophthora species including P. mirabilis, P. ipomoeae and possibly P. phaseoli. These four Phytophthora species appear to have evolved from one common ancestro through evolution of the ability to infect a news host.

Technical Abstract: The central highlands of Mexico are considered to be a center of genetic diversity for both the potato late blight pathogen and for tuber-bearing Solanum spp. Recent work conducted in Mexico and South America sheds new light on the biology and evolution of Phytophthora infestans and other related Phytophthora pathogens. It now appears that Mexican Solanum species that coevolved with P. infestans not only provide a source of R-genes but also provide a source of resistance that is high, stable and durable. It is now apparent that Mexico is not only the center of origin of the potato late blight pathogen P. infestans, but also of several related Phytophthora species including P. mirabilis, P. ipomoeae and possibly P. phaseoli. We close with the hypothesis that these Phytophthora species evolved sympatrically from one ancestral host through adaptive radiation onto their respective four host families.

Last Modified: 9/3/2014
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