Date of this Version
Fungal Genetics and Biology 85 (2015), pp. 38–44. doi 10.1016/j.fgb.2015.10.006
Repeated applications of fungicides with a single mode of action are believed to select for pre-existing resistant strains in a pathogen population, while the impact of sub-lethal doses of such fungicides on sensitive members of the population is unknown. In this study, in vitro evidence is presented that continuous exposure of Monilinia fructicola mycelium to some fungicides can induce genetic change in form of transposon transposition. Three fungicide-sensitive M. fructicola isolates were exposed in 12 weekly transfers of mycelia to a dose gradient of demethylation inhibitor fungicide (DMI) SYP-Z048 and quinone outside inhibitor fungicide (QoI) azoxystrobin in solo or mixture treatments. Evidence of mutagenesis was assessed by monitoring Mftc1, a multicopy transposable element of M. fructicola, by PCR and Southern blot analysis. Movement of Mftc1 was observed following azoxystrobin and azoxystrobin plus SYPZ048 treatments in two of the three isolates, but not in the non-fungicide-treated controls. Interestingly, the upstream promoter region of MfCYP51 was a prime target for Mftc1 transposition in these isolates. Transposition of Mftc1 was verified by Southern blot in two of three isolates from another, similar experiment following prolonged, sublethal azoxystrobin exposure, although in these isolates movement of Mftc1 in the upstream MfCYP51 promoter region was not observed. More research is warranted to determine whether fungicide-induced mutagenesis may also happen under field conditions.