3 years ago

Nucleic adaptability of heterokaryons to fungicides in a multinucleate fungus, Sclerotinia homoeocarpa

Sclerotinia homoeocarpa is the causal organism of dollar spot in turfgrasses and is a multinucleate fungus with a history of resistance to multiple fungicide classes. Heterokaryosis gives rise to the coexistence of genetically distinct nuclei within a cell, which contributes to genotypic and phenotypic plasticity in multinucleate fungi. We demonstrate that field isolates, resistant to either a demethylation inhibitor or methyl benzimidazole carbamate fungicide, can form heterokaryons with resistance to each fungicide and adaptability to serial combinations of different fungicide concentrations. Field isolates and putative heterokaryons were assayed on fungicide-amended media for in vitro sensitivity. Shifts in fungicide sensitivity and microsatellite genotypes indicated that heterokaryons could adapt to changes in fungicide pressure. Presence of both nuclei in heterokaryons was confirmed by detection of a single nucleotide polymorphism in the β-tubulin gene, the presence of microsatellite alleles of both field isolates, and the live-cell imaging of two different fluorescently tagged nuclei using laser scanning confocal microscopy. Nucleic adaptability of heterokaryons to fungicides was strongly supported by the visualization of changes in fluorescently labeled nuclei to fungicide pressure. Results from this study suggest that heterokaryosis is a mechanism by which the pathogen adapts to multiple fungicide pressures in the field.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1087184518300057

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