O. Frenkel

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States

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Publications (16)66.99 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (Cmm), the causal agent of bacterial canker and wilt, causes severe economic losses in tomato nethouses and greenhouses worldwide. Seedlings which were transplanted and inoculated monthly during two years of research wilted and died earlier in the spring (21-24°C) and autumn (18-23°C) than in the winter (15-18°C) and summer (28-31°C): T50 (the time taken for 50% of the plants to wilt or die) was 2 and 3–4 months after inoculation, respectively. A highly significant correlation was found between the average temperatures during the first month after inoculation and T50; The shortest T50 mortality (70 days) was observed for an average temperature of 26o C. Expression of virulence genes (pat-1, celA, chpC and ppaA) was higher in plants inoculated in the spring than in those inoculated in the summer. In another set of experiments, seedlings were inoculated and maintained in controlled-environment growth chambers for two weeks. Then they were transplanted and maintained in commercial-type greenhouses for four to five months. The temperatures prevailing on the first 48 hours after inoculation were found to affect Cmm population size and virulence-gene expression and to have season-long effects on bacterial canker development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Plant Pathology 01/2014; · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Random mating and recombination in heterothallic ascomycetes should result in high genotypic diversity, 1:1 mating-type ratios, and random associations of alleles, or linkage equilibrium, at different loci. To test for random mating in populations of the grape powdery mildew fungus Erysiphe necator, we sampled isolates from vineyards of Vitis vinifera in Burdett, NY (NY09) and Winchester, VA (VA09) at the end of the epidemic in fall 2009. We also sampled isolates from the same Winchester, VA vineyard in spring 2010 at the onset of the next epidemic. Isolates were genotyped for mating type and 11 microsatellite markers. In the spring sample, which originated from ascospore infections, nearly every isolate had a unique genotype. In contrast, fall populations were less diverse. In all, 9 of 45 total genotypes in VA09 were represented by two or more isolates; 3 of 40 total genotypes in NY09 were represented by two or more isolates, with 1 genotype represented by 20 isolates. After clone correction, mating-type ratios in the three populations did not deviate from 1:1. However, even with clone correction, we detected significant linkage disequilibrium (LD) in all populations. Mantel tests detected positive correlations between genetic and physical distances within vineyards. Spatial autocorrelation showed aggregations up to 42 and 3 m in VA09 and NY09, respectively. Spatial autocorrelation most likely results from short dispersal distances. Overall, these results suggest that spatial genetic aggregation and clonal genotypes that arise during the asexual phase of the epidemic contribute to persistent LD even though populations undergo sexual reproduction annually.
    Phytopathology 07/2012; 102(10):997-1005. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Race-specific resistance against powdery mildews is well documented in small grains but, in other crops such as grapevine, controlled analysis of host-pathogen interactions on resistant plants is uncommon. In the current study, we attempted to confirm powdery mildew resistance phenotypes through vineyard, greenhouse, and in vitro inoculations for test cross-mapping populations for two resistance sources: (i) a complex hybrid breeding line, 'Bloodworth 81-107-11', of at least Vitis rotundifolia, V. vinifera, V. berlandieri, V. rupestris, V. labrusca, and V. aestivalis background; and (ii) Vitis hybrid 'Tamiami' of V. aestivalis and V. vinifera origin. Statistical analysis of vineyard resistance data suggested the segregation of two and three race-specific resistance genes from the two sources, respectively. However, in each population, some resistant progeny were susceptible in greenhouse or in vitro screens, which suggested the presence of Erysiphe necator isolates virulent on progeny segregating for one or more resistance genes. Controlled inoculation of resistant and susceptible progeny with a diverse set of E. necator isolates clearly demonstrated the presence of fungal races differentially interacting with race-specific resistance genes, providing proof of race specificity in the grape powdery mildew pathosystem. Consistent with known race-specific resistance mechanisms, both resistance sources were characterized by programmed cell death of host epidermal cells under appressoria, which arrested or slowed hyphal growth; this response was also accompanied by collapse of conidia, germ tubes, appressoria, and secondary hyphae. The observation of prevalent isolates virulent on progeny with multiple race-specific resistance genes before resistance gene deployment has implications for grape breeding strategies. We suggest that grape breeders should characterize the mechanisms of resistance and pyramid multiple resistance genes with different mechanisms for improved durability.
    Phytopathology 01/2012; 102(1):83-93. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Transcriptome sequences of the grape powdery mildew fungus Erysiphe necator were used to develop microsatellite markers (EST-SSRs) to study its relatively unexplored population structure in its centre of diversity in eastern North America. Screening the transcriptome sequences revealed 116 contigs with candidate microsatellites, from which 11 polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed from 31 markers tested. Eight of these markers were used to genotype isolates from different regions and hosts in the eastern USA and compare them to samples from southern France and Italy. Genetic diversity in the eastern USA is much greater than in Europe. Bayesian cluster analyses showed that 10 isolates from North America have high affinities with, but differ from, European group A; these are referred to as A-like isolates. No isolates with close affinity to European group B were found in the eastern USA. Bayesian analyses also detected genetic differentiation between isolates from Vitis rotundifolia and isolates from other Vitis hosts. Genetic differentiation detected between the northeastern and southeastern USA was mostly attributable to the A-like isolates in the southeast, which are significantly more aggressive than the other populations. This research demonstrates that transcriptome sequencing of fungal pathogens is useful for developing genetic markers in protein-coding regions and highlights the role of these markers in population biology studies of E. necator.
    Plant Pathology 07/2011; 61(1):106 - 119. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ascochyta blight, caused by Didymella rabiei, affects both domesticated chickpea and its congeneric wild relatives. The aim of this study was to compare the aggressiveness of D. rabiei isolates from wild and domesticated Cicer spp. in Turkey and Israel on wild and domesticated hosts from both countries. A total of eight isolates of D. rabiei sampled from C. pinnatifidum, C. judaicum and C. arietinum in Turkey and Israel was tested on two domesticated chickpea cultivars and two wild Cicer accessions from Turkey and Israel. Using cross-inoculation experiments, we compared pathogen aggressiveness across the different pathogen and host origin combinations. Two measures of aggressiveness were used, incubation period and relative area under the disease progress curve. The eight tested isolates infected all of the host plants, but were more aggressive on their original hosts with one exception; Turkish domesticated isolates were less aggressive on their domesticated host in comparison to the aggressiveness of Israeli domesticated isolates on Turkish domesticated chickpea. C. judaicum plants were highly resistant against all of the isolates from different origins except for their own isolates. Regardless of the country of origin, the wild isolates were highly aggressive on domesticated chickpea while the domesticated isolates were less aggressive on the wild hosts compared with the wild isolates. These results suggest that the aggressiveness pattern of D. rabiei on different hosts could have been shaped by adaptation to the distinct ecological niches of wild vs. domesticated chickpea. KeywordsAscochyta blight–Disease severity–Host adaptation–Incubation period–Wild Cicer
    European Journal of Plant Pathology 01/2011; 131(3):529-537. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Powdery mildews are phytopathogens whose growth and reproduction are entirely dependent on living plant cells. The molecular basis of this life-style, obligate biotrophy, remains unknown. We present the genome analysis of barley powdery mildew, Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei (Blumeria), as well as a comparison with the analysis of two powdery mildews pathogenic on dicotyledonous plants. These genomes display massive retrotransposon proliferation, genome-size expansion, and gene losses. The missing genes encode enzymes of primary and secondary metabolism, carbohydrate-active enzymes, and transporters, probably reflecting their redundancy in an exclusively biotrophic life-style. Among the 248 candidate effectors of pathogenesis identified in the Blumeria genome, very few (less than 10) define a core set conserved in all three mildews, suggesting that most effectors represent species-specific adaptations.
    Science 12/2010; 330(6010):1543-6. · 31.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Eastern North America is considered the center of diversity for many Vitis spp. and for the grape powdery mildew pathogen, Erysiphe necator. However, little is known about populations of E. necator from wild Vitis spp. We determined the phenotypic variation in pathogenicity and aggressiveness of E. necator among isolates from wild and domesticated Vitis spp. from diverse geographic regions in the eastern United States. To test pathogenicity, we inoculated 38 E. necator isolates on three wild Vitis spp., two commercially grown hybrids and the European wine grape, Vitis vinifera. V. rotundifolia (muscadine grape) was the only host species on which complete host specialization was evident; it was only susceptible to isolates collected from V. rotundifolia. All isolates, regardless of source host, were pathogenic on the other Vitis spp. We found no differences in components of aggressiveness latent period and lesion size among isolates from different source hosts when inoculated on V. vinifera, which is highly susceptible to powdery mildew. However significant variation was evident among isolates on the more resistant V. labruscana 'Niagara'. Isolates from the wild species V. aestivalis were the most aggressive, whereas isolates from V. vinifera were not more aggressive than isolates from other source hosts. Greater aggressiveness was also detected among isolates from the southeastern United States compared with isolates from the northeastern United States.
    Phytopathology 11/2010; 100(11):1185-93. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Boron is a microelement required for normal growth and development of plants but its positive effect is restricted to a narrow range of concentrations. The gradual increase in use of recycled water, which contains high concentrations of boron for irrigation, has already raised the level of boron in soils and plants in southern Israel. This research was conducted to examine the direct effects of sub-phytotoxic boron concentrations on potato late blight epidemics and to explore the mode of action of boron against Phytophthora infestans. When boron was applied alone to field grown potato plants it did not affect the epidemic. However, together with a reduced rate of the fungicide Melody Duo (propineb + iprovalicarb), boron improved late blight suppression compared to plants treated with the fungicide alone. The ED50 of boron against P. infestans (256·4 mg L−1) was about 6400 times higher than the ED50 value of the fungicide chlorothalonil (0·04 mg L−1), indicating that boron does not have a direct fungicidal activity that would explain the level of protection seen in the field. In greenhouse experiments conducted with potted tomato plants, boron decreased late blight severity in both treated leaves and distant leaves not treated with boron. The results suggest that boron is active locally but also may induce systemic acquired resistance against P. infestans.
    Plant Pathology 07/2010; 59(4):626 - 633. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Fertile Crescent is the centre of domestication of chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and also the place of origin of its pathogens. Agrosystems provide different environments to natural eco-systems, thus imposing different types of selection on pathogens. Here, the genetic structure and in vitro temperature growth response of the chickpea pathogen Didymella rabiei from domesticated chickpea (59 isolates from Turkey and 31 from Israel) and wild Cicer spp. (three isolates from Turkish C. pinnatifidum and 35 from Israeli C. judaicum) were studied. Six sequence-tagged microsatellite site (STMS) primer pairs were used to determine the genetic structure of the 128 D. rabiei isolates. Turkish isolates exhibited the highest genetic diversity (H = 0·69). Turkish and Israeli D. rabiei from domesticated chickpea were genetically closer to each other than isolates from the wild Cicer spp. Analysis of molecular variance showed that 54% of the genetic variation resided between isolates from wild and domesticated origins. EF1-α sequences distinguished between D. rabiei isolates from domesticated and wild Cicer spp. by four polymorphic sites. Nevertheless, a certain degree of mixing between isolates from wild and domesticated origin was demonstrated using the Bayesian algorithm as well as with principal coordinates analysis. Isolates sampled from domesticated chickpea from both countries were better adapted to temperatures typical of Levantine spring and had a significantly larger colony area at 25°C than at 15°C (typical Levantine winter temperature). These observations were in accordance to the heritability values of the temperature growth response.
    Plant Pathology 05/2010; 59(3):492 - 503. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: For millennia, chickpea (Cicer arietinum) has been grown in the Levant sympatrically with wild Cicer species. Chickpea is traditionally spring-sown, while its wild relatives germinate in the autumn and develop in the winter. It has been hypothesized that the human-directed shift of domesticated chickpea to summer production was an attempt to escape the devastating Ascochyta disease caused by Didymella rabiei. We estimated genetic divergence between D. rabiei isolates sampled from wild Cicer judaicum and domesticated C. arietinum and the potential role of temperature adaptation in this divergence. Neutral genetic markers showed strong differentiation between pathogen samples from the two hosts. Isolates from domesticated chickpea demonstrated increased adaptation to higher temperatures when grown in vitro compared with isolates from the wild host. The distribution of temperature responses among progeny from crosses of isolates from C. judaicum with isolates from C. arietinum was continuous, suggesting polygenic control of this trait. In vivo inoculations of host plants indicated that pathogenic fitness of the native isolates was higher than that of their hybrid progeny. The results indicate that there is a potential for adaptation to higher temperatures; however, the chances for formation of hybrids which are capable of parasitizing both hosts over a broad temperature range are low. We hypothesize that this pathogenic fitness cost is due to breakdown of coadapted gene complexes controlling pathogenic fitness on each host and may be responsible for maintenance of genetic differentiation between the pathogen demes.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 11/2009; 76(1):30-9. · 3.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Domesticated chickpea (Cicer arietinum) and its wild relative C. judaicum grow in sympatric distribution in Israel and both are susceptible to Ascochyta blight caused by Didymella rabiei. C. arietinum was grown for millennia in drier and hotter Levantine spring conditions while C. judaicum grows in the wetter and milder winters. Accordingly, it is possible that D. rabiei isolates originated from C. arietinum are adjusted to the less favorable spring conditions. Here, 60 isolates from both origins were tested in vitro for their hyphal growth at 15 and 25 degrees C. Isolates from C. arietinum had a significantly larger colony area at 25 degrees C than at 15 degrees C (P < 0.001) while no such differences were detected between isolates from C. judaicum. D. rabiei isolates from wild and domesticated origins were used to inoculate nine C. judaicum accessions and two domesticated chickpea cultivars and their aggressiveness patterns were determined using five measures. On domesticated chickpea, isolates from domesticated origin were significantly more aggressive in four out of the five aggressiveness measures than isolates from wild origin. On C. judaicum, isolates from wild origin were generally more aggressive than isolates from domesticated origin. The results suggest that the habitat segregation between wild and domesticated Cicer influences the pathogens ecological affinities and their aggressiveness patterns.
    Phytopathology 05/2008; 98(5):600-8. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The primary and secondary centres of origin of domesticated plants are often also the places of origin of their pathogens. Therefore, the Near Eastern cradle of agriculture, where crop plants, their wild progenitors, and other con-generic taxa grow sympatrically, may hold some clues on the biology of the pathogens of the respective crops. Unlike the situation in the well-studied Near Eastern cereals and their important diseases, hardly any data are available on basic questions regarding grain legumes. What is the role of genetic diversity at resistance loci of the wild hosts and is it greater compared with the cultigens? Are populations of Ascochyta pathogens infecting wild legumes genetically distinct from populations infecting their domesticated counterparts, and if so, is this differentiation related to differences in host specialization or to adaptation to different ecological conditions? Do isolates originating from wild taxa exhibit a similar level of aggressiveness and have different aggressiveness alleles compared with those originating from domesticated grain legumes? In this review we propose an experimental framework aimed at gaining answers to some of the above questions. The proposed approach includes comparative epidemiology of wild vs. domesticated plant communities, co-evolutionary study of pathogens and their hosts, phenotypic and genetic characterization of fungal isolates from wild and domesticated origins, and genetic analyses of pathogenicity and parasitic fitness among progeny derived from crosses between isolates from wild and domesticated hosts.
    09/2007: pages 111-118;
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to isolate, identify and characterize ascochyta blight pathogens from Cicer judaicum, a wild annual Cicer species which grows in Israel and other Mediterranean countries in sympatric distribution with legume crops, and determine their virulence and aggressiveness to other wild and domesticated legumes. Native C. judaicum plants exhibited symptoms resembling ascochyta diseases of grain legume crops. Two distinct pathogens were isolated and identified as Phoma pinodella and Didymella rabiei using morphological and molecular tools; their infectivity was verified using Koch's postulates. The virulence of these pathogens was examined on 13 legume species, of which P. pinodella was virulent to Pisum sativum, P. fulvum, C. judaicum, C. arietinum, C. reticulatum, C. pinnatifidum and C. bijugum. Didymella rabiei infected all these Cicer species, but not the other legume species tested. Aggressiveness of the pathogens was tested on wild and domesticated chickpea and pea. Didymella rabiei isolated from C. judaicum had significantly higher (P < 0·001) aggressiveness than P. pinodella from C. judaicum on both wild and domesticated chickpea. Disease severity on the former species ranged from 62·5% to 70% and on the latter from 41% to 56%. Phoma pinodella isolates from C. judaicum were more aggressive on C. arietinum and P. sativum than on C. judaicum and P. fulvum. Results of the current study suggest that C. judaicum may serve as an alternative host to ascochyta pathogens that endanger chickpea and possibly other crops and wild species growing in close proximity.
    Plant Pathology 05/2007; 56(3):464 - 471. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The distribution of mating types and diversity in virulence of Didymella rabiei populations were studied in Israel from 1997 to 1999. Forty-one monoconidial D. rabiei isolates from 18 commercial fields distributed among all the chickpea production areas of the country were paired with MAT1-1 and MAT1-2 mating type tester isolates of D. rabiei. Both mating types were found in all chickpea production areas of the country. Of the 18 fields sampled, MAT1-1 was observed in 44%, and MAT1-2 in 88% of the sites. In some sites both mating types were present in close proximity, suggesting that sexual reproduction of the pathogen was feasible. The contribution of sexual reproduction of the fungus to virulence diversity was tested on detached leaves of six differential chickpea cultivars. Nine isolates were derived from different well separated foci (derived from ascospores as inoculum) and eight isolates were derived from a single, well defined infection focus (derived from sister conidia). In the analyses of variance the cultivar × isolate interaction showed no significant (P of F>0.09) effect on disease incidence; the chickpea cultivars differed significantly (P of F<0.0001) in their response to D. rabiei; and the isolate effect was highly significant (P of F = 0.0007) for the conidial population, but not significant (P of F>0.1) among isolates of the ascosporic population. Nevertheless, when comparing a cultivar at a time, the ascosporic and conidial populations did not differ significantly (P of F>0.1) in their virulence diversity. Virulence of 41 isolates collected from the different chickpea fields was tested on detached leaves of four Israeli cultivars that differ in their field response to D. rabiei. The cultivar × isolate interaction showed no significant effect (P of F = 0.95) on disease incidence. The main effects of cultivar and isolate on disease incidence were highly significant (P of F<0.0001). Accordingly, our data do not support the hypothesis that there is pathogenic specialization in the D. rabiei–C. arietinum pathosystem in Israel.
    European Journal of Plant Pathology 09/2005; 113(1):15-24. · 1.71 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Powdery mildews are phytopathogens whose growth and reproduction are entirely dependent on living plant cells. The molecular basis of this life-style, obligate biotrophy, remains unknown. We present the genome analysis of barley powdery mildew, Blumeria graminis f.sp. hordei (Blumeria), as well as a comparison with the analysis of two powdery mildews pathogenic on dicotyledonous plants. These genomes display massive retrotransposon proliferation, genome-size expansion, and gene losses. The missing genes encode enzymes of primary and secondary metabolism, carbohydrate-active enzymes, and transporters, probably reflecting their redundancy in an exclusively biotrophic life-style. Among the 248 candidate effectors of pathogenesis identified in the Blumeria genome, very few (less than 10) define a core set conserved in all three mildews, suggesting that most effectors represent species-specific adaptations.
    Science 330 (2010) 6010.
  • Science, v.330, 1543-1546 (2010).

Publication Stats

234 Citations
66.99 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2010–2011
    • Cornell University
      • Department of Plant Pathology and Plant-Microbe Biology
      Ithaca, NY, United States
  • 2005–2011
    • Hebrew University of Jerusalem
      • Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences and Genetics in Agriculture
      Yerushalayim, Jerusalem District, Israel
  • 2009–2010
    • Agricultural Research Organization ARO
      • Department of Plant Pathology and Weed Research
      Bet Dagan, Central District, Israel