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Title: Development of a TaqMan qPCR assay for the detection and quantification of Gnomoniopsis castaneae in chestnut tissues
Authors: Turco, Silvia
Bastianelli, Giorgia
Morales-Rodrìguez, Carmen
Vannini, Andrea 
Mazzaglia, Angelo 
Issue Date: 2021
A novel real-time PCR assay based on the TaqMan probe was developed for the detection of Gnomoniopsis castaneae, causal agent of brown rot of chestnut kernels, and responsible for leaf necrosis, shoot blight and bark canker. A part of the pathogen life cycle is endophytic, colonizing all tissues of chestnut and additional hosts, which is suspected to play a key role in its epidemiology. Thus, a molecular tool for sensitive detection and quantification of G. castaneae in symptomatic and asymptomatic host tissues is urgently required to better understand G. castaneae ecology, biology and epidemiology. Primers and a species-specific probe for G. castaneae were designed based on the sequence of the single-copy elongation factor 1 alpha (EF1α) gene. The amplification efficiency of target DNA was 105.3% and the limit of detection of the assay was calculated at approximately 40 fg of pure fungal DNA. The pathogen was consistently detected in artificial mixtures of plant and pathogen DNAs with the same Limit of Detection (LOD) as pure fungal DNA. In naturally infected samples, the assay rapidly revealed the presence of the pathogen in all symptomatic specimens, as well as in asymptomatic tissues. Notably, a significant relationship between the results of a metagenomic HTS analysis and the qPCR assay on DNAs extracted from bulk fruit was found. This molecular tool will be of substantial aid in detecting and quantifying G. castaneae, even in the endophytic state, and in different host tissues.
ISSN: 1439-0329
DOI: 10.1111/efp.12701
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
Appears in Collections:A1. Articolo in rivista

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