Prior to 2007, late blight was not reported as a serious threat to tomato cultivation in India although the disease has been known on potato since 1953. During the July–December cropping season of 2009 and 2010, severe late blight epidemics were observed in Karnataka state of India, causing crop losses up to 100%. Nineteen Phytophthora isolates, recovered from late blight affected tomato tissues from different localities in Karnataka state between 2009 and 2010, were identified as Phytophthora infestans based on morphology, a similarity search of ITS sequences at GenBank and species-specific PCR using PINF/ITS5 primer pair. The isolates were further assessed for metalaxyl sensitivity, mating type, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplotype, DNA fingerprinting patterns based on simple sequence repeats (SSR) and RFLPs using the RG57 probe and aggressiveness on tomato. All isolates were metalaxyl resistant, A2 mating type, mtDNA haplotype Ia and had identical SSR and RG57 fingerprints and highly aggressive on tomato. The phenotypic and genotypic characters of isolates examined in this study were found to be similar to that of 13_A2 genotype of P. infestans population reported in Europe. Thus, appearance of new population similar to 13_A2 genotype was responsible for severe late blight epidemics on tomato in South-West India.
Via Kamoun Lab @ TSL