Mirmajlessi S.M.,Estonian University of Life Sciences |
Larena I.,Agricultural National Research Institute |
Mand M.,Estonian University of Life Sciences |
Loit E.,Estonian University of Life Sciences
Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica Section B: Soil and Plant Science | Year: 2016
ABSTRACT: Verticillium dahliae Kleb, the cause of Verticillium wilt disease, is a destructive pathogen that leads to severe yield losses in strawberry fields and thus considerable economic damages. Although rapid identification and detection methods are becoming available more, pathogen quantification remains one of the main challenges in the disease management. In this study, a real-time polymerase chain reaction (rtPCR) assay was developed to quantitatively assess V. dahliae abundance directly from affected roots and soil collected from different areas in Estonia. A specific primer pair based on the ribosomal DNA (rDNA) internally transcribed spacer was designed for SYBR Green-based assay. Strawberry plant and soil samples were randomly collected from different areas in Estonia and analyzed for V. dahliae by soil plating technique and rtPCR assay. The assay was specific for V. dahliae so that the minimum detection limit was 0.93 pg µl−1 of pathogen DNA and the lowest amount of V. dahliae detected in soil was 10.48 pg µl−1 of target DNA corresponding to one microsclerotia per gram of soil. This technique allowed rapid detection and quantification of the pathogen DNA at the picogram level in soils and even in symptomless plants, facilitating the screening of the pathogen in diverse areas. This is the first study about the rtPCR technique being used successfully to assess populations of V. dahliae with high specificity and sensitivity in Estonia strawberry fields. Results of this research can be useful for growers and agricultural organizations to improve available disease management strategies against Verticillium wilt. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.