Institute of Bioanalytical Sciences


Allelic variation at a hypervariable compound microsatellite locus of the ascomycete Ascochyta rabiei


  • J. Geistlinger
  • K. Weising
  • W. J. Kaiser
  • G. Kahl

Veröffentlicht in: Molecular and General Genetics 256:298-305

The genome of the fungal chickpea pathogen Ascochyta rabiei was screened for polymorphisms by microsatellite-primed PCR. While ethidium-bromide staining of electrophoretically separated amplification products showed only limited polymorphism among 24 Tunisian A. rabiei isolates, Southern hybridization of purified PCR fragments to restriction digests of fungal DNA revealed polymorphic DNA fingerprints. One particular probe that gave rise to a hypervariable single-locus hybridization signal was cloned from the Syrian isolate AA6 and sequenced. It contained a large compound microsatellite harbouring the penta- and decameric repeat units (CATTT)n, (CATTA)n, (CATATC-ATTT)n and (TATTT)n. We call this locus ArMS1 (Ascochyta rabiei microsatellite 1). Unique flanking sequences were used to design primer pairs for locus-specific microsatellite amplification and direct sequencing of additional ArMS1 alleles from Tunisian and Pakistani isolates. A high level of sequence variation was observed, suggesting that multiple mutational mechanisms have contribute to polymorphism. Hybridization and PCR analyses were performed on the parents and 62 monoascosporic F1 progeny derived from a cross between two different mating types of the fungus. Progeny alleles could be traced back to the parents, with one notable exception, where a longer than expected fragment was observed. Direct sequencing of this new length allele revealed an alteration in the copy number of the TATTT repeat [(TATTT)53 to (TATTT)65], while the remainder of the sequence was unchanged.