T. J. Hughes,
Z. K. Atallah, and
C. R. Grau
First and third authors: Department of Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1630 Linden Dr., Madison 53706; and second author: Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, 1636 East Alisal St., Salinas 93905.
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Accepted for publication 18 May 2009.
Populations of Phialophora gregata f. sp. sojae, the causal agent of brown stem rot (BSR) of soybean, consist of two genotypes, designated A and B. These genotypes are differentiated by an insertion or deletion in the intergenic spacer region (IGS) of ribosomal DNA. The two genotypes differ in the type and severity of symptoms they cause and have displayed preferential host colonization. Methods to quantify populations of P. gregata f. sp. sojae and to distinguish between the two genotypes are essential to understanding this host--pathogen interaction and to improving control of BSR. A real-time, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay was developed for the specific detection and quantification of P. gregata f. sp. sojae genotype A. This assay is specific to P. gregata f. sp. sojae genotype A, sensitive to 50 fg of DNA, and unaffected by the presence of soybean or soil DNA. When the P. gregata f. sp. sojae genotype A-specific primer/probe set is used in a multiplex qPCR assay with a previously developed primer/probe set which indiscriminately amplifies both genotypes, the quantity of P. gregata f. sp. sojae genotype B can be indirectly determined. This multiplex assay provides a rapid and robust method for studying both the population size and genetic structure of P. gregata f. sp. sojae in its soybean host and in the soil.
© 2009 The American Phytopathological Society