Variation in pathotypes and virulence of Plasmodiophora brassicae populations in Germany
Between 2012 and 2015, 49 new clubroot-infested fields were identified in 12 German federal states. Clubroot disease incidence varied within these fields from 22% to 92%. Field information revealed that in 85% of fields, oilseed rape was grown in rotation once every 2 or 3 years. Frequency of OSR in the rotation was significantly correlated with the incidence and prevalence of clubroot disease. The disease was detected in fields with soil pH ranging from 5.1 to 8.3, and a significant negative correlation was found between soil pH and the disease incidence of infested fields. Furthermore, more cases of disease and severe incidences were observed in sandy loam and loamy sand as compared with other soil types. Pathotype classification of the 49 Plasmodiophora brassicae populations was conducted on two differential sets, the European Clubroot Differential set and the set of Somé (1996). Additionally, the degree of virulence of the collected isolates was analysed on the clubroot-resistant oilseed rape cv. Mendel. The results showed variation in pathotype distribution in different regions in Germany. The majority of isolates according to Somé were pathotypes 1 and 3, respectively, with pathotypes 2 and 5 in the minority. Detailed classification according to Buczacki showed the dominance of 16/31/31, 16/14/30 and 16/14/31 populations among 20 distinct virulence patterns of collected isolates. From all populations tested for virulence on cv. Mendel, 15 isolates were found to be moderately or highly virulent. These virulent populations were not restricted to a small geographical area in the country.