Pathogenicity assays were combined with restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) markers in the mitochondrial and nuclear genomes to compare Mycosphaerella grominicola populations adapted to bread wheat (Triticum aestivum) and durum wheat (T. turgidum) in the Mediterranean Basin. The majority of isolates had unique nuclear DNA fingerprints and multilocus haplotypes. Only six mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotypes were identified among 108 isolates assayed. There were minor differences in frequencies of alleles at nuclear RFLP loci between the two host-adapted populations, but differences in the frequencies of mtDNA haplotypes were highly significant (P <0.0001). mtDNA haplotype I dominated on the isolates adapted to bread wheat, and its frequency was twice as high as for the isolates adapted to durum wheat. mtDNA haplotype 4. which contained a unique approximate to3-kb insertion, was detected only in isolates showing specificity toward durum wheat and was the dominant haplotype on this species. We propose that the low mitochondrial diversity in this pathogenic fungus is due to a selective sweep and that differences in the frequencies of mtDNA haplotypes between the two host-adapted populations, were due to natural selection according, to host species.
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