Author(s): Jaaffar AK, Paulitz TC, Schroeder KL, Thomashow LS, Weller DM
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Abstract Rhizoctonia root rot and bare patch, caused by Rhizoctonia solani anastomosis group (AG)-8 and R. oryzae, are chronic and important yield-limiting diseases of wheat and barley in the Inland Pacific Northwest (PNW) of the United States. Major gaps remain in our understanding of the epidemiology of these diseases, in part because multiple Rhizoctonia AGs and species can be isolated from the same cereal roots from the field, contributing to the challenge of identifying the causal agents correctly. In this study, a collection totaling 498 isolates of Rhizoctonia was assembled from surveys conducted from 2000 to 2009, 2010, and 2011 over a wide range of cereal production fields throughout Washington State in the PNW. To determine the identity of the isolates, PCR with AG- or species-specific primers and/or DNA sequence analysis of the internal transcribed spacers was performed. R. solani AG-2-1, AG-8, AG-10, AG-3, AG-4, and AG-11 comprised 157 (32\%), 70 (14\%), 21 (4\%), 20 (4\%), 1 (0.2\%), and 1 (0.2\%), respectively, of the total isolates. AG-I-like binucleate Rhizoctonia sp. comprised 44 (9\%) of the total; and 53 (11\%), 80 (16\%), and 51 (10\%) were identified as R. oryzae genotypes I, II, and III, respectively. Isolates of AG-2-1, the dominant Rhizoctonia, occurred in all six agronomic zones defined by annual precipitation and temperature within the region sampled. Isolates of AG-8 also were cosmopolitan in their distribution but the frequency of isolation varied among years, and they were most abundant in zones of low and moderate precipitation. R. oryzae was cosmopolitan, and collectively the three genotypes comprised 37\% of the isolates. Only isolates of R. solani AG-8 and R. oryzae genotypes II and III (but not genotype I) caused symptoms typically associated with Rhizoctonia root rot and bare patch of wheat. Isolates of AG-2-1 caused only mild root rot and AG-I-like binucleate isolates and members of groups AG-3, AG-4, and AG-11 showed only slight or no discoloration of the roots. However, all isolates of AG-2-1 caused severe damping-off of canola, resulting in 100\% mortality. Isolates of Rhizoctonia AG-8, AG-2-1, AG-10, AG-I-like binucleate Rhizoctonia, and R. oryzae genotypes I, II, and III could be distinguished by colony morphology on potato dextrose agar, by PCR with specific primers, or by the type and severity of disease on wheat and canola seedlings, and results of these approaches correlated completely. Based on cultured isolates, we also identified the geographic distribution of all of these Rhizoctonia isolates in cereal-based production systems throughout Washington State.
This article was published in Phytopathology
and referenced in Advancements in Genetic Engineering