Comparison of effects of acidic electrolyzed water and NaOCl on Tilletia indica teliospore germination

M. R. Bonde, S. E. Nester, A. Khayat, J. L. Smilanick, R. D. Frederick, N. W. Schaad

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45 Scopus citations


Definitive identification of free teliospores of Tilletia indica, causal agent of Karnal bunt of wheat, requires polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic tests. Since direct PCR amplification from teliospores has not been reliable, teliospores first must be germinated in order to obtain adequate DNA. We have routinely surface-sterilized teliospores for 2 min with 0.4% (vol/vol) sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) to stimulate germination and produce axenic cultures. However, we observed that some spores were killed even with a 2-min NaOCl treatment, the shortest feasible duration. Decreasing the NaOCl concentration in our study from 0.4% to 0.3 and 0.2%, respectively, increased teliospore germination, but treatment times longer than 2 min still progressively reduced the germination percentages. In testing alternative methods, we found 'acidic electrolyzed water' (AEW), generated by electrolysis of a weak solution of sodium chloride, also surface-sterilized and increased the rate of T. indica teliospore germination. In a representative experiment comparing the two methods, NaOCl (0.4%) for 2 min and AEW for 30 min increased germination from 19% (control) to 41 and 54%, respectively, by 7 days after treatment. Because teliospores can be treated with AEW for up to 2 h with little, if any, loss of viability, compared with 1 to 2 min for NaOCl, treatment with AEW has certain advantages over NaOCl for surface sterilizing and increasing germination of teliospores of suspect T. indica.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)627-632
Number of pages6
JournalPlant disease
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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