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Phytopathology. 2009 Apr;99(4):328-38. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-99-4-0328.

Identifying and quantifying Phakopsora pachyrhizi spores in rain.

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Cereal Disease Laboratory, U S Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Service, and University of Minnesota, St. Paul MN, USA.


In summers of 2005 and 2006, rain was collected weekly at over 100 selected National Atmospheric Deposition Program/National Trends Network sites across the soybean-growing region of the central and eastern United States. Rain samples were screened for Phakopsora pachyrhizi (causal agent of soybean rust) DNA using a nested real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. Over this time frame, P. pachyrhizi spores were detected in every state in the study, but more frequently in states along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts and along the Ohio River Valley westward to Kansas. A bimodal temporal distribution of samples testing positive for P. pachyrhizi was found in both years. However, there was a greater than threefold increase in the number of samples testing positive for P. pachyrhizi in 2006 compared with 2005, with the most significant increase in August. There was also an increase in the average number of spores per sample in 2006 relative to 2005. Sequence analysis of a subset of positive samples was used to validate the assay results. From the sequence analysis, two reliable polymorphic regions were found, resulting in six distinct genotypes. One genotype was found in 56% of the samples tested, whereas the other genotypes were found less frequently.

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