Phenotypic and Genotypic Analysis of the Population of Phytophthora infestans in Bangladesh Between 2014 and 2019


In Bangladesh, the third largest producer of potatoes in Asia, late blight, caused by Phytophthora infestans, is the major constraint to production. Nevertheless, there is a lack of published information on the pathogen population. A collection of 69 isolates obtained from samples of infected potato foliage collected in 2018–2019 varied significantly in their aggressiveness to detached potato leaflets and tuber slices of cv. Diamant. On leaflets, most isolates were highly aggressive, colonizing more than half the surface in 7 days. On tuber slices, while some isolates were highly aggressive, those collected in 2019 were less so. There was a significant effect of the locations from which the isolates were obtained on aggressiveness to both leaflets and tuber slices, but aggressiveness to leaflets and to tuber slices was not significantly correlated. All isolates were A2 mating type and either intermediate (38%) or resistant (62%) in sensitivity to the fungicide metalaxyl. A subset of 24 isolates all had mitochondrial DNA haplotype Ia.

Samples of P. infestans DNA (124) from infected potato foliage obtained from Bangladesh (2014–2019) were genotyped by 12-plex SSR. The vast majority (95%) were assigned to EU_13_A2, which was present in every year in which samples were collected. Numerous EU_13_A2 variants were identified, many specific to Bangladesh. Six samples (from 2017 to 2019) had genotypes distinct from EU_13_A2 and with no close match to known European lineages. It is concluded that the current P. infestans population of Bangladesh is dominated by the aggressive lineage EU_13_A2, also dominant in India and Pakistan. The implications of this for control of late blight are discussed.