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Use of real-time technologies for the detection and quantification of soilborne plant pathogens

Project code: PRR03-500

Project Lead

Richard Reeleder - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


To develop diagnostic tests to reliably estimate populations of soil-borne pathogens to help growers avoid costly and unnecessary pesticide applications

Summary of Results

The main objectives of this project were to advance real-time PCR (qPCR) methods for assessing populations of soilborne plant pathogens. Considerable progress was achieved: for the first time, highly specific real-time primer sets for detection of Phytophthora sojae in soil and plant tissue were successfully designed and shown to be effective in soil and plant tissue. Positive correlations were established between Pythium populations in soil and qPCR signal, showing that the methods could be used successfully in soils with different chemistries. An Aspergillus nidulans soil DNA amendment technique was developed in order to control for differences in soil DNA extraction efficiency.

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