Analyses of four populations of Venturia inaequalis in Switzerland were performed to obtain information about migration and to predict the probable speed of the spread of new pathotypes able to overcome resistance, e.g. Vf-resistance, of new cultivars.
Genetic and haplotype diversity was calculated based on allele frequencies of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS)-region of ribosomal DNA, which are regarded to be neutral, and the beta-tubulin locus which may be under selection pressure. Within-population diversity was found to be quite similar over all four populations. Normalised haplotype diversity based on RAPD and ITS data was very high with a mean of 0.95. Diversity among populations (G(ST)) was consistent over all neutral loci with a low mean of 0.04, but reached the high value of 0.26 for the selected beta-tubulin locus. Low G(ST) based on neutral loci may suggest a high level of gene flow.
Considering these results, new pathotypes would be expected soon outside their place of identification. But actual gene flow is easily overestimated because of effects of gene flow in the past. However, naturally occurring gene flow could be increased by human activity. Therefore, it is very difficult to predict durability of the Vf-resistance in Switzerland.
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