The population structure of Rhizoctonia solani AG-1 IA causing rice sheath blight from India was evaluated for 96 isolates using seven RFLP loci. Nineteen of the isolates did not hybridise to R. solani AG-1 IA RFLP probes and rDNA analyses subsequently confirmed that they were either Ceratobasidium oryzae-sativae isolates or another Rhizoctonia sp. The population structure of the remaining 77 R. solani AG-1 IA Indian isolates was similar to that of a previously characterized Texas population. Clonal dispersal of R. solani AG-1 IA in India was moderate within fields and no clones were shared among field populations. Low levels of population subdivision and small genetic distances among populations were consistent with high levels of gene flow. Frequent sexual reproduction was indicated by the fact that most populations were in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE). The two loci (R68 and R111) that deviated significantly from HWE showed an excess of heterozygosity. Although Texas and Indian populations were geographically very distant, they exhibited only moderate population subdivision, with an F-ST value of 0.193.
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