Impact of transposons and mycoviruses on the phenotype of Botrytis cinerea isolates


Abstract: The presence of genetic elements such as transposons as well as the infection of fungalstrains with fungal viruses (mycoviruses) can have significant effects on distinctive phenotypictraits of phytopathogenic fungi. The ubiquitous fungus Botrytis cinerea is known to be associatedwith two types of dsRNA viruses (BVX and BVF) as well as with two transposons, Boty andFlipper. Here, we assessed the distribution of these elements in B. cinerea strains in a Germangrapevine growing region and investigated whether their presence had any effects on B. cinereaphenotypic characteristics. Results of the study indicate that B. cinerea strains without atransposable element showed a significantly reduced growth at lower temperatures and a lowerlaccase activity. Such knowledge may contribute to a better understanding of evolutionaryprocesses and genetic structure of B. cinerea populations associated with grapevine plants in thefield and might thus have implications on future control programmes.

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