Canadian Forest Service Publications
Signatures of post-gacial genetic isolation and human-driven migration in the Dothistroma needle blight pathogen in western Canada. 2020. Capron, A.; Feau, N.; Heinzelmann, R.; Barnes, I.; Benowicz, A.; Bradshaw, R.E.; Dale, A.; Lewis, K.J.; Owen, T.J.; Reich, R.; Ramsfield, T. D.; Woods, A.J.; Hamelin, R.C. Phytopathology 111(1):116-127.
Issued by: Northern Forestry Centre
Catalog ID: 40706
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Many current tree improvement programs are incorporating assisted gene flow strategies to match reforestation efforts with future climates. This is the case for the lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia), the most extensively planted tree in western Canada. Knowledge of the structure and origin of pathogen populations associated with this tree would help improve the breeding effort. Recent outbreaks of the Dothistroma needle blight (DNB) pathogen Dothistroma septosporum on lodgepole pine in British Columbia and its discovery in Alberta plantations raised questions about the diversity and population structure of this pathogen in western Canada. Using genotyping-by-sequencing on 119 D. septosporum isolates from 16 natural pine populations and plantations from this area, we identified four genetic lineages, all distinct from the other DNB lineages from outside of North America. Modeling of the population history indicated that these lineages diverged between 31.4 and 7.2 thousand years ago, coinciding with the last glacial maximum and the postglacial recolonization of lodgepole pine in western North America. The lineage found in the Kispiox Valley from British Columbia, where an unprecedented DNB epidemic occurred in the 1990s, was close to demographic equilibrium and displayed a high level of haplotypic diversity. Two lineages found in Alberta and Prince George (British Columbia) showed departure from random mating and contemporary gene flow, likely resulting from pine breeding activities and material exchanges in these areas. The increased movement of planting material could have some major consequences by facilitating secondary contact between genetically isolated DNB lineages, possibly resulting in new epidemics.