ABSTRACT: Strains of Fusarium species belonging to section Liseola cause stalk and ear rot of maize and produce important mycotoxins, such as fumonisins. We isolated two species, Fusarium verticillioides (Gibberella fujikuroi mating population A) and Fusarium proliferatum (G. fujikuroi mating population D) from maize cultivated under no-till conditions at five locations in the Córdoba province of Argentina. We determined the effective population number for mating population A (N(e)) and found that the N(e) for mating type was 89% of the count (total population) and that the N(e) for male or hermaphrodite status was 36%. Thus, the number of strains that can function as the female parent limits N(e), and sexual reproduction needs to occur only once every 54 to 220 asexual generations to maintain this level of sexual fertility. Our results indicate that the fungal populations isolated from no-till maize are similar to those recovered from maize managed with conventional tillage. We placed 36 strains from mating population A into 28 vegetative compatibility groups (VCGs). Of the 13 strains belonging to five multimember VCGs, only 2 isolates belonging to one VCG were clones based on amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) fingerprints. Members of the other four multimember VCGs had an average similarity index of 0.89, and members of one VCG were no more closely related to other members of the same VCG than they were to other members of the population as a whole. This finding suggests that the common assumption that strains in the same VCG are either clonal or very closely related needs to be examined in more detail. The variability observed with AFLPs and VCGs suggests that sexual reproduction may occur more frequently than estimated by N(e).
Applied and Environmental Microbiology 01/2001; 66(12):5312-5. · 3.83 Impact Factor