Populations of Ceratocystis fimbriata on Colocasia esculenta and other hosts in the Mata Atlântica region in Brazil.
Ceratocystis fimbriata is native to Brazil, where it is able to cause serious diseases on numerous hosts, especially on non-native plants. Because C. fimbriata is soilborne and not wind dispersed, highly differentiated populations are found in different regions of Brazil. The present study compared populations of C. fimbriata on taro, mango, eucalyptus and kiwifruit from the coastal Mata Atlântica region with native populations of the fungus from the Cerrado-transition region in Brazil by using 14 SSR markers and DNA sequences of ITS and mating type genes. Microsatellite and phylogenetic analyses were performed to test the hypothesis that populations on different hosts from the Mata Atlântica region are related to each other and are native to the region. The ITS sequences varied greatly among the taro isolates, with six sequences identified, from which two had not been previously reported. For mating type genes, four sequences were identified among the isolates on taro, mango, eucalyptus and kiwifruit. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Mata Atlântica populations formed a monophyletic group distinct from Cerrado-transition region populations, although earlier studies had shown that isolates from the two regions are interfertile and are considered as a single biological species. Microsatellite analysis revealed low gene diversity for each of the three Mata Atlântica populations on taro, mango and kiwifruit, suggesting that these populations had gone through genetic bottlenecks, probably by dispersal of select genotypes in vegetative propagation material. Also, microsatellite markers showed that two microsatellite genotypes from taro are widely spread in Brazil, probably by infected corms.