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Development of PCR-based Detection Methods for the Quarantine Phytopathogen Synchytrium endobioticum, Causal Agent of Potato Wart Disease

Boogert, P.H.J.F. van den, Gent-Pelzer, M.P.E. van, Bonants, P.J.M., De Boer, S.H., Wander, J.G.N., Levesque, C.A., Leeuwen, G.C.M. van, Baayen, R.P.
European journal of plant pathology 2005 v.113 no.1 pp. 47-57
Solanum tuberosum, potatoes, Synchytrium endobioticum, plant pathogenic fungi, fungal diseases of plants, disease detection, polymerase chain reaction, pathogen identification, internal transcribed spacers, ribosomal DNA, soil-borne diseases
PCR-based methods were developed for the detection and quantification of the potato pathogen Synchytrium endobioticum in soil extracts and in planta. PCR primers, based on the internal transcribed spacer region of the multi-copy gene rDNA were tested for specificity, sensitivity and reproducibility in conventional and real-time PCR assays. Soil extraction procedures compared included the Hendrickx centrifugation (HC) procedure, nested wet sieving (NWS) and a method used by the Plant Protection Service (PPS). The primers amplified a 472 bp product from S. endobioticum DNA, but did not amplify DNA from other potato pathogens, other plant pathogens, and related species. Standard cell disruption and DNA extraction and purification methods were optimized for amplification of S. endobioticum DNA from resting sporangia. DNA was successfully amplified from a single sporangium and equivalent DNA preparations from soil extracts. Low levels of target DNA in water did not amplify, possibly due to DNA loss during final purification steps. A real-time PCR assay, developed for soil-based extracts using primers and probe based on the rDNA gene sequences, involved co-amplification of target DNA along with an internal DNA fragment. Both conventional and real-time PCR methods performed well with HC- and NWS-extracts having a threshold sensitivity of 10 sporangia per PCR assay. Of the three soil extraction methods, only with the HC method could 100 g soil samples be efficiently processed in one single PCR assay. Such a high capacity assay could be useful for routine soil analysis in respect to disease risk assessments and to secure de-scheduling according to EPPO guidelines.