We tested the hypothesis that the population of Phytophthora infestans in the Toluca valley region is genetically differentiated according to habitat. Isolates were sampled in three habitats from (i) wild Solanum spp. (WILD), (ii) land-race varieties in low-input production systems (RURAL), and (iii) modern cultivars in high-input agriculture (VALLEY). Isolates were sampled in 1988-89 (n= 179) and in 1997-98 (n= 389). In both sampling periods, the greatest genetic diversity was observed in RURAL and VALLEY habitats. Based on the Glucose-6-phosphate isomerase and Peptidase allozymes, the subpopulations from the three habitats were significantly differentiated in both sampling periods. In contrast to allozyme data for 1997-98, no differences were found among the three subpopulations for sensitivity to metalaxyl. Two groups of isolates identical for allozyme and mating type were further investigated by restriction fragment length polymorphism fingerprinting; 65% of one group and 85% of another group were demonstrated to be unique. The genetic diversity data and the chronology of disease occurrence during the season are consistent with the hypothesis that populations of P. infestans on wild Solanum populations are derived from populations on cultivated potatoes in the central highlands of Mexico near Toluca.
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