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The Sclerotinia sclerotiorum is a soil-inhabiting plant pathogen. It is considered as one of the most devastating plant pathogens
infecting various crop plants including chickpea. Genetic diversity of 24 isolates of S. sclerotiorum representing 10 different
states of India was determined by mycelial compatibility grouping (MCG), random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD), internal
transcribed spacer restriction fragment length polymorphism (ITS-RFLP) and ITS sequencing. The isolates were variable in
mycelial interaction and they were grouped into seven MCGs as MCG A, MCG B, MCG C, MCG D, MCG E, MCG F and MCG
G. Unweighted paired group method with arithmetic average (UGMA) cluster analysis of RAPD profiles grouped the isolates
into 7 categories showing high magnitude of genetic homogeneity and partial correlation with geographical origin of the isolates.
The ITS I, 5.8S rDNA and ITS II regions of 10 isolates representing different RAPD groups were amplified with a set of primers
ITS 1 and ITS 4 and digested with 6 restriction enzymes. Identical ITS-RFLP profiles were generated in all the isolates. Limited
variability was observed in the nucleotide sequences of the ITS regions of these isolates. Phylogenic tree generated from Bootstrap
neighboring joint analysis indicated that 50% of Indian populations were distinct and grouped separately. This is the first study
on genetic diversity in Indian populations of S. sclerotiorum.
This work was supported by research grant from Indian Agricultural Research Institute, New Delhi as a part of Asit Kumar Mandal Ph. D program. At present, he is working on development of molecular based diagnostic kit for detection of seed borne infection as a scientist in the discipline of Plant Pathology at Directorate of Seed Research, Mau (UP), India.
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