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J Microbiol Methods. 2003 Oct;55(1):51-64.

Detection of the biocontrol agent Colletotrichum coccodes (183088) from the target weed velvetleaf and from soil by strain-specific PCR markers.

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Department of Plant Science, Macdonald Campus of McGill University, 21, 111 Lakeshore Road, Raymond Building, Ste-Anne de Bellevue, Qu├ębec, H9X 3V9, Canada.


Diagnostic molecular markers, generated from random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) and used in polymerase chain reaction (PCR), were developed to selectively recognize and detect the presence of a single strain of the biocontrol fungus Colletotrichum coccodes (183088) on the target weed species Abutilon theophrasti and from soil samples. Several isolates of C. coccodes, 15 species of Colletotrichum, a variety of heterogeneous organisms and various plant species were first screened by RAPD-PCR, and a strain specific marker was identified for C. coccodes (183088). No significant sequence similarity was found between this marker and any other sequences in the databases. The marker was converted into a sequence-characterised amplified region (SCAR), and specific primer sets (N5F/N5R, N5Fi/N5Ri) were designed for use in PCR detection assays. The primer sets N5F/N5R and N5Fi/N5Ri each amplified a single product of 617 and 380 bp, respectively, with DNA isolated from strain 183088. The specificity of the primers was confirmed by the absence of amplified products with DNA from other C. coccodes isolates, other species representing 15 phylogenetic groups of the genus Colletotrichum and 11 other organisms. The SCAR primers (N5F/N5R) were successfully used to detect strain 183088 from infected velvetleaf plants but not from seeded greenhouse soil substrate or from soil samples originating from deliberate-released field experiments. The sensitivity of the assay was substantially increased 1000-fold when nested primers (N5Fi/N5Ri) were used in a second PCR run. N5Fi/N5Ri selectively detected strain 183088 from seeded greenhouse soils as well as from deliberate-released field soil samples without any cross-amplification with other soil microorganisms. This rapid PCR assay allows an accurate detection of C. coccodes strain 183088 among a background of soil microorganisms and will be useful for monitoring the biocontrol when released into natural field soils.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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