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Poster: Diseases of Plants: Disease Detection & Diagnosis


A CANARY Assay for Phytophthora spp.
Z. LIU (1), D. Kalkofen (1), A. Flannery (1), G. Wei (2), F. Nargi (3), Z. Liu (2), G. Abad (2), J. Bienapfl (2), M. Nakhla (2) (1) PathSensors, Inc., U.S.A.; (2) USDA-APHIS-PPQ-S&T-Center for Plant Health Science and Technology (CPHST), U.S.A.; (3) Bioen

Phytophthora is a genus of Oomycetes (water molds) that can cause serious plant diseases and considerable economic loss. A notable example is P. infestans, which was responsible for the potato late blight that caused the Great Irish Famine in the 1840s, and is still the most destructive pathogen of solanaceous crops. Another example is P. ramorum, the cause of Sudden Oak Death which has had devastating effects on forests in California and Oregon. Efficient management of Phytophthora diseases requires early detection and accurate identification of the pathogen. CANARY® (Cellular Analysis and Notification of Antigen Risks and Yields) is a fast, sensitive, and easy to use technology that has been successfully utilized for the detection of bacteria, viruses, and toxins. We are developing a CANARY® assay for Phytophthora spp. Using pure culture preparations, the assay was able to detect all species of Phytophthora tested, including P. cactorum, P. cambivora, P. capsici, P. cinnamomi, P. citrophthora, P. kernoviae, P. infestans, P. nicotianae, P. niederhauserii, P. ramorum, and P. sojae. Importantly, exclusivity studies showed that the assay did not cross-react with Pythium spp. Preliminary testing with infected plant material indicates that the assay takes less than 20 minutes to complete. A user-friendly software interface guides the user through all steps of the assay, providing a simple and rapid screening method for Phytophthora spp.