Todd N. Temple, Oregon State University, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Corvallis 97331-2902;
Lindsey J. du Toit and
Michael L. Derie, Washington State University Mount Vernon NWREC, Mount Vernon 98273-4768; and
Kenneth B. Johnson, Oregon State University, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Corvallis
Molecular assays to detect and quantify DNA from viable cells of the seedborne pathogen Xanthomonas hortorum pv. carotae in carrot seed were developed and evaluated for use on nontreated and hot-water-treated seed lots. Both a TaqMan real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) dilution endpoint assay detected and quantified DNA from viable pathogen cells after treatment of carrot seed washes with the live-dead discriminating dye propidium monoazide (PMA). The detection limits of the assays were approximately 101 CFU for pure cultures of X. hortorum pv. carotae, and 102 to 103 CFU/g seed from naturally infested carrot seed lots. X. hortorum pv. carotae in and on carrot seed was killed by soaking the seed in hot water (52°C for 25 min), and a subsequent PMA treatment of these hot-water-treated seed washes suppressed detection of the pathogen with both the real-time PCR and LAMP assays. For 36 commercial seed lots treated with PMA but not hot water, regression of colony counts of X. hortorum pv. carotae measured by dilution plating on a semiselective agar medium versus estimates of pathogen CFU determined by the molecular assays resulted in significant (P ≤ 0.05) linear relationships (R2 = 0.68 for the real-time PCR assay and 0.79 for the LAMP assay). The molecular assays provided quantitative estimates of X. hortorum pv. carotae infestations in carrot seed lots in <24 h, which is a significant improvement over the 7 to 14 days required to obtain results from the traditional dilution-plating assay.