Inbreeding levels of two Ustilago maydis populations

Charles W. Barnes, Les J. Szabo, Georgiana May, James V. Groth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Little is known about the population mating behavior of the smut fungus Ustilago maydis DC (Corda). To determine the amount of inbreeding that occurs in local U. maydis populations, two cornfields were sampled, one in North America (NA) at Le Sueur, Minnesota, and one in South America (SA) at Tarariras, Uruguay. These fields were chosen because of their geographic isolation and host management differences. Inbreeding coefficients (Fis) were calculated using data derived from amplified fragment length polymorphism (AFLP) markers. Mean Fis values estimated for both the NA (-0.08), and the SA (-0.02) populations statistically are not different from zero. The results of this study demonstrate that the U. maydis population structure in both cornfields results predominately from out-crossing and suggests that teliospores infrequently act as single infection units. The genetic differentiation between popula-tions was high (Fst = 0.25).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1236-1244
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2004


  • Corn smut
  • Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium
  • Heterozygosity
  • Maximum parsimony analysis
  • Wright's inbreeding coefficient


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