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Rapid and Sensitive Detection of Phytophthora sojae in Soil and Infected Soybeans by Species-Specific Polymerase Chain Reaction Assays

December 2006 , Volume 96 , Number  12
Pages  1,315 - 1,321

Yuanchao Wang , Wenli Zhang , Ying Wang , and Xiaobo Zheng

Department of Plant Pathology, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, People's Republic of China

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Accepted for publication 3 July 2006.

Root and stem rot caused by Phytophthora sojae is one of the most destructive diseases of soybean (Glycine max) worldwide. P. sojae can survive as oospores in soil for many years. In order to develop a rapid and accurate method for the specific detection of P. sojae in soil, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions of eight P. sojae isolates were amplified using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with the universal primers DC6 and ITS4. The sequences of PCR products were aligned with published sequences of 50 other Phytophthora species, and a region specific to P. sojae was used to design the specific PCR primers, PS1 and PS2. More than 245 isolates representing 25 species of Phytophthora and at least 35 other species of pathogens were used to test the specificity of the primers. PCR amplification with PS primers resulted in the amplification of a product of approximately 330 bp, exclusively from isolates of P. sojae. Tests with P. sojae genomic DNA determined that the sensitivity of the PS primer set is approximately 1 fg. This PCR assay, combined with a simple soil screening method developed in this work, allowed the detection of P. sojae from soil within 6 h, with a detection sensitivity of two oospores in 20 g of soil. PCR with the PS primers could also be used to detect P. sojae from diseased soybean tissue and residues. Real-time fluorescent quantitative PCR assays were also developed to detect the pathogen directly in soil samples. The PS primer-based PCR assay provides a rapid and sensitive tool for the detection of P. sojae in soil and infected soybean tissue.

Additional keywords: disease management, molecular detection.

© 2006 The American Phytopathological Society