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Recent Developments in Pathogen Detection Arrays: Implications for Fungal Plant Pathogens and Use in Practice

December 2005 , Volume 95 , Number  12
Pages  1,374 - 1,380

Bart Lievens and Bart P. H. J. Thomma

First author: Centre of Microbial and Plant Genetics (CMPG), Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Kasteelpark Arenberg 20, B-3001 Heverlee-Leuven, Belgium and Scientia Terrae Research Institute, Fortsesteenweg 30A, B-2860 Sint-Katelijne-Waver, Belgium; and second author: Laboratory of Phytopathology, Wageningen University, Binnenhaven 5, 6709 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands

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Accepted for publication 22 August 2005.

The failure to adequately identify plant pathogens from culture-based morphological techniques has led to the development of culture-independent molecular approaches. Increasingly, diagnostic laboratories are pursuing fast routine methods that provide reliable identification, sensitive detection, and accurate quantification of plant pathogens. In addition, since plants or parts thereof can be infected by multiple pathogens, multiplex assays that can detect and quantify different pathogens simultaneously are highly desirable. Technologies that can meet these requirements, especially those involving polymerase chain reaction, are being developed and implemented in horticultural and agricultural practice. Currently, DNA array technology is the most suitable technique for multiplex detection of plant pathogens. Recently, a quantitative aspect was added to this technology, making DNA arrays highly attractive for various research and practical applications. Here, we review the most important recent advances in molecular plant pathogen diagnostics, with special attention to fungal molecular diagnostics. In addition to their applicability in practice, the different criteria that have to be fulfilled for developing robust detection procedures that can routinely be used by diagnostic laboratories are discussed.

Additional keywords: diagnosis , disease management , high-throughput , phytopathogen .

© 2005 The American Phytopathological Society