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  • 1 University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
  • 2 University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary
  • 3 University of Sydney, Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research, Sydney, Australia
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The ascomycetous fungus Cryphonectria parasitica (Murr.) is one of the most important fungal pathogens of chestnut (Castanea sativa Mill.), causing chestnut blight. It is originated from Eastern Asia and was introduced into North America, and later into Europe. Almost 100 C. parasitica isolates were collected mainly from the Carpathian Basin to study their diversity and phylogenetic relationships. Three nuclear molecular markers were tested: (i) internal transcribed spacers (ITS), (ii) translation elongation factor 1 subunit alpha (tef1), and (iii) six microsatellite loci. The ITS region proved to be highly polymorphic but this kind of variability did not reflect the geographical regions of the isolates, while the tef1 sequences were identical in all isolates. Microsatellite haplotype diversity was relatively high (0.923–0.984) calculated for the fungal populations of the Carpathian Basin. This may have resulted from the multiple introductions from diverse origins of the populations, close to the first site of observation in Northern Italy. The BAPS analysis of the microsatellite markers occasionally grouped together samples from remote geographical origin, suggesting human assistance in the introduction of new C. parasitica haplotypes from distinct areas.

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