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A Response to Gupta et al. (2019) Regarding the MoT3 Wheat Blast Diagnostic Assay

Yasuhara-Bell, Jarred, Pieck, Michael L., Ruck, Amy, Farman, Mark L., Peterson, Gary L., Stack, James P., Valent, Barbara, Pedley, Kerry F.
Phytopathology 2019 v.109 no.4 pp. 509-511
Magnaporthe oryzae, Triticum, blast disease, plant pathology, rice, wheat, Bangladesh
This is a response to a recent Letter to the Editor of Phytopathology, in which Gupta et al. (2019) caution against the indiscriminate use of the MoT3 diagnostic assay that distinguishes isolates of Magnaporthe oryzae in the Triticum lineage from those that do not cause aggressive wheat blast. We confirm that the assay does reliably distinguish between wheat and rice isolates from Bangladesh and worldwide, as described in the original paper by Pieck et al. (2017). We have been unable to reproduce the equally intense amplification of WB12 and WB12-like sequences reported in Figure 1 of the Letter. Other data presented by Gupta et al. (2019) support the specificity of the MoT3 assay. Therefore, cautions beyond those always associated with accurate reproduction of diagnostic assays are unwarranted.