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Mycopathologia. 2005 Jan;159(1):159-70.

Identification of Ganoderma, the causal agent of basal stem rot disease in oil palm using a molecular method.

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Indonesian Oil Palm Research Institute (IOPRI), Jl. Brigjen Katamso No. 51, Medan 20158, North Sumatra, Indonesia.


From comparison of the alignments of the internally transcribed spacers (ITS) of ribosomal DNA from Ganoderma associated with oil palm basal stem rot (BSR) and other Ganoderma species, two specific primer pairs were selected to provide a specific DNA amplification of pathogenic Ganoderma in oil palm. Each primer pair produced a single PCR product of about 450 bp (for primer pair IT1-IT2) and 334 bp (for primer pair IT1-IT3) when oil palm Ganoderma DNA was used. No PCR amplification product was observed when other Ganoderma species DNA was used in PCR amplification with these primer pairs. Three specific restriction enzyme sites were identified in the ITS and intergenic spacer (IGS1) regions. The restriction enzymes MluI, SacI and HinfI were used to digest the ITS-PCR product and restriction enzymes TfiI, ScaI and HincII were used to digest the IGS1-PCR product. Of the three restriction enzymes used in each rDNA region, MluI specifically digested the ITS regions, and TfiI specifically digested the IGS1 region of oil palm Ganoderma. Analysis of the published ITS nucleotide sequences of 31 Ganoderma species showed that the MluI restriction site was not present in other Ganoderma species. The use of both specific primers and restriction enzyme analysis can be applied as a standard protocol to identify pathogenic Ganoderma in oil palm. In this study, the use of specific primers and PCR-RFLP analyses of the rDNA gave consistent results for the characterisation of pathogenic Ganoderma, and indicated that Ganoderma strains associated with BSR disease in oil palms belong to a single species.

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