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Exploiting generic platform technologies for the detection and identification of plant pathogens

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Neil Boonham, Professor Rick Mumford


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The detection and identification of plant pathogens currently relies upon a very diverse range of techniques and skills, from traditional culturing and taxonomic skills to modern molecular-based methods. The wide range of methods employed reflects the great diversity of plant pathogens and the hosts they infect. The well-documented decline in taxonomic expertise, along with the need to develop ever more rapid and sensitive diagnostic methods has provided an impetus to develop technologies that are both generic and able to complement traditional skills and techniques. Real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is emerging as one such generic platform technology and one that is well suited to high-throughput detection of a limited number of known target pathogens. Real-time PCR is now exploited as a front line diagnostic screening tool in human health, animal health, homeland security, biosecurity as well as plant health. Progress with developing generic techniques for plant pathogen identification, particularly of unknown samples, has been less rapid. Diagnostic microarrays and direct nucleic acid sequencing (de novo sequencing) both have potential as generic methods for the identification of unknown plant pathogens but are unlikely to be suitable as high-throughput detection techniques. This paper will review the application of generic technologies in the routine laboratory as well as highlighting some new techniques and the trend towards multi-disciplinary studies. © 2008 KNPV.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Boonham N, Glover R, Tomlinson J, Mumford R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Plant Pathology

Year: 2008

Volume: 121

Issue: 3

Pages: 355-363

Print publication date: 01/07/2008

Online publication date: 20/05/2008

ISSN (print): 0929-1873

ISSN (electronic): 1573-8469

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/s10658-008-9284-3


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