Use of Telomere Fingerprinting to Identify Clonal Lineages of Colletotrichum fioriniae in Kentucky Mixed-Fruit Orchards

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1 Scopus citations


Multiple species in the fungal genus Colletotrichum cause anthracnose fruit rot diseases that are responsible for major yield losses of as much as 100%. Individual species of Colletotrichum typically have broad host ranges and can infect multiple fruit species. Colletotrichum fioriniae causes anthracnose fruit rots of apples, blueberries, and strawberries in Kentucky orchards where these fruits grow in close proximity. This raises the possibility of cross-infection, which may have significant management implications. The potential occurrence of cross-infection was investigated by using telomere fingerprinting to identify C. fioriniae clones in several mixed-fruit orchards. Telomere fingerprints were highly polymorphic among a test group of C. fioriniae strains and effectively defined clonal lineages. Fingerprints were compared among apple, blueberry, and strawberry isolates of C. fioriniae from three different orchards and similarity matrices were calculated to build phylograms for each orchard group. Multiple clonal lineages of C. fioriniae were identified within each orchard on the same fruit host. Related lineages were found among isolates from different hosts, but the results did not provide direct evidence for cross-infection of different fruit species by the same clones. Recovery of the same clonal lineages within orchards across multiple years suggested that local dispersal was important in pathogen population structure and that C. fioriniae strains persisted within orchards over time. Isolates from blueberry were less diverse than isolates from apple, perhaps related to more intensive anthracnose management protocols on apple versus blueberry. Telomere fingerprinting is a valuable tool for understanding population dynamics of Colletotrichum fruit rot fungi.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This work was supported by Kentucky Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant PON2 035 1700001212, and by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Program under 1014371 *The e-Xtra logo stands for “electronic extra” and indicates that two supplementary tables and one supplementary figure are published online.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The American Phytopathological Society.


  • Apple bitter rot
  • Blueberry ripe rot
  • Colletotrichum fioriniae
  • Cross-infection
  • Strawberry anthracnose
  • Telomere finger printing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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