Total-cellular fatty acid compositions of 34 isolates of Rhizoctonia solani belonging to intraspecific groups (ISGs) of anastomosis group (AG) 2, i.e., AG 2-1, AG 2-2 IIIB (mat rush), AG 2-2 IV (sugar beet), AG 2-2 LP (turfgrass), and AG 23 (soybean), were compared. The major fatty acids identified were palmitic, stearic, and oleic acids. Principal component analysis based on the percentage composition of total cellular fatty acids revealed consistently low variability among isolates of a single ISG of AG 2. Average linkage cluster analysis showed that isolates obtained from turfgrass representing a newly proposed group, AG 2-2 LP, were differentiated from other AG 2 ISGs. Isolates of another newly proposed group AG 2-3, from diseased soybean were also closely related to AG 2-1 and AG 2-2 IIIB but distinguishable from the AG 2-1 and AG 2-2 LP isolates by the average linkage cluster analysis. These results suggested that the percentage composition of total-cellular fatty acids is a distinct characteristic for the five ISGs belonging to AG 2, and fatty acid analysis is useful for the differentiation and characterization of these ISGs of AG 2 in R. solani.
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