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Original Research ARTICLE

Front. Plant Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fpls.2019.01562

Pyrenophora tritici-repentis in Tunisia: race structure and effector genes Provisionally accepted The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon. Notify me

  • 1Institut National Agronomique de Tunisie, Tunisia
  • 2Lethbridge Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canada

Tan spot is a destructive foliar wheat disease worldwide and caused by the ascomycete fungus Pyrenophora tritici-repentis (Ptr); it has become more frequent in Tunisia over the last decade. In this study, the virulence of 73 single-spore isolates, collected from durum and bread wheat fields during 2017-2018 growing season, was evaluated on four differential wheat genotypes. This was followed by polymerase chain reaction tests with specific primers for the effector genes ToxA, ToxB, and toxb (ToxB-homolog). Sequence analysis to validate the identity of the amplified genes was followed, and ToxA amplicons from a subset of 22 isolates were analyzed to determine its haplotype identity. Ptr isolates from Tunisia were grouped in races 2, 4, 5 and 7, and 44% of the tested isolates did not fit under any known race, and were denoted here as atypical. These atypical isolates induced the same symptoms as of race 7 isolates, extensive necrosis and chlorosis on susceptible genotypes, but lacked the ToxA gene. ToxA is the only identified necrosis-inducing effector in Ptr, and was amplified in 51% of tested isolates, and shared identical sequence to previously identified haplotype (H15). ToxB and its homolog toxb were present in 97% and 68% of tested isolates, respectively. Ptr in Tunisia lacked Ptr ToxC activity, and none of the tested isolates induced the specific symptoms of that effector. Race 7 and the atypical isolates dominated the Tunisian Ptr population, while races 2, 4 and 5 were found at low percentages. In conclusion, ToxB and its homolog were the most dominant genes in Ptr from Tunisia, and the majority of the isolates induced necrosis and chlorosis on Ptr ToxA and Ptr ToxB susceptible wheat genotypes. However, only about half of that necrosis can be attributed to ToxA presence, this result necessitates further research to investigate the prevalence of additional necrotic effector (s).

Keywords: Pyrenophora tritici-repentis, Necrotrophic effectors, ToxA, ToxB, Haplotypes, Tunisia 2, race

Received: 10 Sep 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Kamel, Cherif, Hafez, Despins and Aboukhaddour. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Reem Aboukhaddour, Lethbridge Research Center, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge, T1J 4B1, Alberta, Canada,