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High‐throughput identification and diagnostics of pathogens and pests: Overview and practical recommendations

Tedersoo, Leho, Drenkhan, Rein, Anslan, Sten, Morales‐Rodriguez, Carmen, Cleary, Michelle
Molecular ecology resources 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 47-76
Oomycetes, antagonists, bacteria, diagnostic techniques, forestry, fungi, insect pests, monitoring, plant communities, plant pathogens, population dynamics, viruses
High‐throughput identification technologies provide efficient tools for understanding the ecology and functioning of microorganisms. Yet, these methods have been only rarely used for monitoring and testing ecological hypotheses in plant pathogens and pests in spite of their immense importance in agriculture, forestry and plant community dynamics. The main objectives of this manuscript are the following: (a) to provide a comprehensive overview about the state‐of‐the‐art high‐throughput quantification and molecular identification methods used to address population dynamics, community ecology and host associations of microorganisms, with a specific focus on antagonists such as pathogens, viruses and pests; (b) to compile available information and provide recommendations about specific protocols and workable primers for bacteria, fungi, oomycetes and insect pests; and (c) to provide examples of novel methods used in other microbiological disciplines that are of great potential use for testing specific biological hypotheses related to pathology. Finally, we evaluate the overall perspectives of the state‐of‐the‐art and still evolving methods for diagnostics and population‐ and community‐level ecological research of pathogens and pests.