Genetic diversity, anastomosis groups and virulence of Rhizoctonia spp. from strawberry

Michal Sharon, Stanley Freeman, Shiro Kuninaga, Baruch Sneh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Virulent Rhizoctonia spp. isolated from strawberry in Israel belonged to anastomosis groups (AG) of: binucleate Rhizoctonia (BNR) AG-A, AG-G, AG-K and AG-F, and to multinucleate Rhizoctonia (MNR) AG 4 subgroup HG-I. In addition, a soil isolate of AG 4 subgroup HG-III was also found to be virulent on strawberry. None of the Israeli isolates obtained in the present study belonged to BNR AG-I, or other MNR AGs. In the cluster analysis of rDNA-ITS sequences, all of the isolate sequences consistently clustered according to their known AGs and subgroups. One AG-F cluster included sequences of 10 strawberry isolates, while another AG-F cluster included sequences of two isolates submitted to GenBank. Additional work is needed to determine whether the isolates of these two clusters may belong to different AG-F subgroups. The current virulence bioassay used for Rhizoctonia spp. isolates on strawberry is based on inoculation of stolon-derived daughter plants with the isolates and estimation of the reduction in plant biomass, rather than on specific distinct disease severity symptoms. The duration of this test is relatively long (ca. 5 weeks or more) and the availability of daughter plants from runners is naturally limited to a certain season. Among the possible alternative methods evaluated in the present study (inoculation of fruits or seedlings developed from germinated strawberry seeds), the method based on seedlings was best. This method has a potential to replace the currently used stolon-daughter plant inoculation bioassay for testing virulence of strawberry root pathogens. This is the first report indicating that Rhizoctonia spp. isolates that belong to AG-F, AG-K, AG 4 HG-I and AG 4 HG-III are virulent to strawberry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-265
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Plant Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2007


  • Black root rot
  • Daughter plants
  • Fragaria ananassa
  • Hard rot
  • Percent sequence similarity
  • Rhizoctonia praticola
  • Virulence tests
  • rDNA-ITS sequence analysis


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