Aims: To develop a multiplex real-time PCR assay using TaqMan probes for the simultaneous detection and discrimination of potato powdery scab and common scab, two potato tuber diseases with similar symptoms, and the causal pathogens Spongospora subterranea and plant pathogenic Streptomyces spp. Methods and Results: Real-time PCR primers and a probe for S. subterranea were designed based on the DNA sequence of the ribosomal RNA ITS2 region. Primers and a probe for pathogenic Streptomyces were designed based on the DNA sequence of the txtAB genes. The two sets of primer pairs and probes were used in a single real-time PCR assay. The multiplex real-time PCR assay was confirmed to be specific for S. subterranea and pathogenic Streptomyces. The assay detected DNA quantities of 100fg for each of the two pathogens and linear responses and high correlation coefficients between the amount of DNA and Ct values for each pathogen were achieved. The presence of two sets of primer pairs and probes and of plant extracts did not alter the sensitivity and efficiency of multiplex PCR amplification. Using the PCR assay, we could discriminate between powdery scab and common scab tubers with similar symptoms. Common scab and powdery scab were detected in some tubers with no visible symptoms. Mixed infections of common scab and powdery scab on single tubers were also revealed. Conclusions: This multiplex real-time PCR assay is a rapid, cost efficient, specific and sensitive tool for the simultaneous detection and discrimination of the two pathogens on infected potato tubers when visual symptoms are inconclusive or not present. Significance and Impact of the Study: Accurate and quick identification and discrimination of the cause of scab diseases on potatoes will provide critical information to potato growers and researchers for disease management. This is important because management strategies for common and powdery scab diseases are very different.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology