A quantitative Real Time PCR based method for the detection of Phytophthora infestans causing Late blight of potato, in infested soil.

Research paper by Touseef T Hussain, Bir Pal BP Singh, Firoz F Anwar

Indexed on: 04 Sep '14Published on: 04 Sep '14Published in: Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences


A fast and simple polymerase chain reaction method has been developed for detection of Phytophthora infestans oospores, the causal agent of Late blight of Potato in soil. The method involves the disruption of oospores by grinding dry soil, using abrasive properties, in the presence of glass powder and skimmed milk powder within a short time. The latter prevents loss of DNA by adsorption to soil particles or by degradation and reduces the co-extraction of PCR inhibitors with the DNA. After phenol/chloroform extraction; the DNA is suitable for direct PCR amplification without a precipitation step. This amplification leads to detection of pathogen in infested soils before planting of crop. The real-time PCR assay we describe is highly sensitive and specific, and has several advantages over conventional PCR assays used for P. infestans detection to confirm positive inoculum level in potato seeds and elsewhere. With increasing amounts of standard DNA templates, the respective threshold cycle (Ct) values were determined and a linear relationship was established between these Ct values and the logarithm of initial template amounts. The method is rapid, cost efficient, and when combined with suitable internal controls can be applied to the detection and quantification of P. infestans oospores on a large-scale basis.