Main content area

Development of Real-Time Isothermal Amplification Assays for On-Site Detection of Phytophthora infestans in Potato Leaves

Si Ammour, Mélissa, Bilodeau, Guillaume J., Tremblay, David Mathieu, Van der Heyden, Hervé, Yaseen, Thaer, Varvaro, Leonardo, Carisse, Odile
Plant disease 2017 v.101 no.7 pp. 1269-1277
Phytophthora infestans, Proteus mirabilis, fungi, internal transcribed spacers, leaves, loop-mediated isothermal amplification, pathogens, plant extracts, potatoes, ribosomal DNA
Real-time loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) assays were developed targeting the internal transcribed spacer 2 region of the ribosomal DNA of Phytophthora infestans, the potato late blight causal agent. A rapid crude plant extract (CPE) preparation method from infected potato leaves was developed for on-site testing. The assay’s specificity was tested using several species of Phytophthora and other potato fungal and oomycete pathogens. Both LAMP and RPA assays showed specificity to P. infestans but also to the closely related species P. andina, P. mirabilis, P. phaseoli, and P. ipomoeae, although the latter are not reported as potato pathogen species. No cross-reaction occurred with P. capsici or with the potato pathogens tested, including P. nicotianae and P. erythroseptica. The sensitivity was determined using P. infestans pure genomic DNA added into healthy CPE samples. Both LAMP and RPA assays detected DNA at 50 fg/μl and were insensitive to CPE inhibition. The isothermal assays were tested with artificially inoculated and naturally infected potato plants using a Smart-DART platform. The LAMP assay effectively detected P. infestans in symptomless potato leaves as soon as 24 h postinoculation. A rapid and accurate on-site detection of P. infestans in plant material using the LAMP assay will contribute to improved late blight diagnosis and early detection of infections and facilitate prompt management decisions.