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A PCR-based Technique for Identification of Fusicoccum sp. from Pistachio and Various Other Hosts in California

May 2002 , Volume 86 , Number  5
Pages  515 - 520

Zhonghua Ma and Themis J. Michailides , Department of Plant Pathology, University of California Davis, Kearney Agricultural Center, 9240 South Riverbend Ave., Parlier, CA 93648

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Accepted for publication 27 December 2001.

Botryosphaeria panicle and shoot blight of pistachio, caused by Fusicoccum sp. is a destructive disease in California. In this study, a pair of group-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) primers BDI and BDII, was developed for identification of Fusicoccum sp. from pistachio and other hosts in California based on the sequences of the rDNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region. The primers amplified a 356-bp DNA fragment for all 73 tested isolates of Fusicoccum sp. collected from pistachio and other hosts throughout California in different years, but not for the other 33 fungal species isolated from pistachio and the eight isolates of Fusicoccum sp. obtained from pistachio trees in Greece. The PCR assay using this pair of primers was sensitive enough to detect 5 pg of genomic DNA of Fusicoccum sp. A simple DNA extraction procedure was developed that led to the rapid identification of Fusicoccum sp. from pistachio and other host plants in California.

Additional keywords: Botryosphaeria dothidea, nut disease, Pistacia vera

© 2002 The American Phytopathological Society