European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 140, Issue 4, pp 841–857 | Cite as

Phoma stem canker disease on oilseed rape (Brassica napus) in China is caused by Leptosphaeria biglobosa ‘brassicae’

  • Ze Liu
  • Akinwunmi O. Latunde-Dada
  • Avice M. Hall
  • Bruce D. L. Fitt


Phoma stem canker of oilseed rape (Brassica napus) is a globally important disease that is caused by the sibling ascomycete species Leptosphaeria maculans and L. biglobosa. Sixty fungal isolates obtained from oilseed rape stems with phoma stem canker disease symptoms collected from four provinces in China in 1999, 2005 and 2006 were all identified as Leptosphaeria biglobosa, not L. maculans, by PCR diagnostics based on species-specific primers. There were no differences in cultural characteristics (e.g. pigmentation and in vitro growth) between these L. biglobosa isolates from China and those of 37 proven L. biglobosa isolates from Europe or Canada. In studies using amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers, Chinese L. biglobosa populations were genetically more similar to European L. biglobosa populations than to the more diverse Canadian L. biglobosa populations. Sequencing of gene fragments of β-tubulin, actin and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region of rDNA from L. biglobosa isolates from China, Europe, Australia and Canada showed a closer taxonomic similarity of Chinese L. biglobosa to the European L. biglobosa ‘brassicae’ than to Canadian L. biglobosa ‘canadensis’ or to the Australian L. biglobosa ‘occiaustralensis’ or ‘australensis’ subclades. These results suggest that the Chinese L. biglobosa population in this study is in the same subclade as European L. biglobosa ‘brassicae’ populations.


AFLP Blackleg Brassica napus Genetic structure ITS Leptosphaeria biglobosa subclades Phylogeny 



This work was supported by the China Scholarship Council, Perry Foundation, Henry Lester Trust and Great Britain-China Education Trust, and the University of Hertfordshire. Rothamsted Research receives funding from the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. The authors thank Aiming Qi for assistance with the analysis of the AFLP data, Jonathan West, Maria Eckert, Malgorzata Jedryczka, Hortense Brun, Marie-Hélène Balesdent, Randy Kutcher and Dilantha Fernando for providing isolates of L. biglobosa, Yongju Huang and John Hood for assistance with controlled environmental experiments, Georgia Mitrousia and Kevin King for assistance with the figures and molecular biological work, QiangSheng Li for Fig. 2a and b, and with Ziqin Li and many others for collecting diseased oilseed rape stems from China and other countries.

Supplementary material

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High resolution (TIFF 148 kb)
10658_2014_513_MOESM2_ESM.doc (120 kb)
Supplementary Table 1  (DOC 120 kb)
10658_2014_513_MOESM3_ESM.pdf (66 kb)
ESM 2  (PDF 66 kb)


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Copyright information

© Koninklijke Nederlandse Planteziektenkundige Vereniging 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ze Liu
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Akinwunmi O. Latunde-Dada
    • 2
  • Avice M. Hall
    • 1
  • Bruce D. L. Fitt
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.University of HertfordshireHatfieldUK
  2. 2.Rothamsted ResearchHarpendenUK
  3. 3.Anhui Academy of Agricultural SciencesCrop Research InstituteHefeiPeople’s Republic China

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