Detection of airborne inoculum of Leptosphaeria maculans and Pyrenopeziza brassicae in oilseed rape crops by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays
Foster, S. J.
McCartney, H. A.
The potential use of DNA-based methods for detecting airborne inoculum of Leptosphaeria maculans and Pyrenopeziza brassicae, both damaging pathogens of oilseed rape, was investigated. A method for purifying DNA from spores collected using Hirst-type spore samplers and detecting it using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays is described. For both pathogens, the sensitivities of the DNA assays were similar for spore-trap samples and pure spore suspensions. As few as 10 spores of L. maculans or P. brassicae could be detected by PCR and spores of both species could be detected against a background of spores of six other species. The method successfully detected spores of P. brassicae collected using spore traps in oilseed rape crops that were infected with P. brassicae. Leptosphaeria maculans spores were detected using spore traps on open ground close to L. maculans-infected oilseed rape stems. The potential use of PCR detection of airborne inoculum. in forecasting the diseases caused by these pathogens is discussed.