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Quantification of Magnaporthe grisea During Infection of Rice Plants Using Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction and Northern Blot/Phosphoimaging Analyses

August 2002 , Volume 92 , Number  8
Pages  870 - 876

Min Qi and Yinong Yang

Department of Plant Pathology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville 72701

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Accepted for publication 17 April 2002.

Rice blast, caused by Magnaporthe grisea, is a serious fungal disease of rice worldwide. Currently, evaluation of the fungal pathogenicity and host resistance is mainly based on a disease rating or measurement of blast lesion number and size. However, these methods only provide visual estimation rather than accurate measurement of fungal growth in rice plants. In this study, DNA-based real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and RNA-based northern blot/phosphoimaging analyses were evaluated to quantify M. grisea. Both methods were sensitive, specific, and reproducible and could accurately measure the relative growth and absolute biomass of M. grisea. The real-time PCR analysis showed that the growth of M. grisea in seedling leaves of susceptible cultivars (M201 and Wells) was ≈46 to 80 times higher than that of a resistant cultivar (Drew) at 4 and 6 days after inoculation. The data obtained from the real-time PCR assays also were consistent with that from northern blot/ phosphoimaging analysis. However, the real-time PCR approach was much faster and more convenient in most cases. Therefore, it is an excellent tool for in planta quantification of M. grisea and can be used for reliable assessment of fungal pathogenicity and host resistance

Additional keywords: disease resistance, Oryza sativa, Pyricularia grisea, virulence.

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society