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Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Population differentiation of Puccinia coronata between hosts-implications for the epidemiology of oat crown rust

Berlin, Anna; Wallenhammar, A. -C.; Andersson, B.


The fungus Puccinia coronata Corda. is the causal agent of crown rust on oats (Avena sativa) and grasses and the disease is a major problem in oat production causing devastating yield losses. The population biology of P. coronata in oat fields and on the aecial host in central Sweden was studied to get a deeper understanding of the role of the aecial hosts in the epidemiology of the disease. Samples were collected from the aecial hosts common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and alder buckthorn (Frangula alnus), and three adjacent spring oat (Avena sativa) fields. Microsatellite markers were used to evaluate the relationships between populations sampled from the different hosts. According to our results F. alnus can be excluded as a part of the oat crown rust disease cycle. The results further show that samples collected from the aecial host were genetically separate from the population sampled in adjacent oat fields. Concurrently, the genotypic variation of P. coronata observed within oat fields was high. No population differentiation was observed within or between samples collected from different fields within the region, suggesting that airborne spores from other than the sampled specimens of the aecial hosts were contributing to the genetic diversity of P. coronata f. sp. avenae in the selected oat fields.


Cereal rusts; Population biology; Alternate hosts; Sexual reproduction

Published in

European Journal of Plant Pathology
2018, Volume: 152, number: 4, pages: 901-907
Publisher: SPRINGER