RAPID ESTIMATION OF THE EPIPHYTIC POPULATION SIZE OF ERWINIA AMYLOVORA BY PCR
Connected to a project initiated in 1999, a PCR/nested PCR method was used to detect Erwinia amylovora in flower samples from several test orchards in Hungary. The population size (in terms of genome-equivalent, GE) was estimated within orders of magnitude, by measuring and comparing the strength of the PCR signals to those given by known amounts of bacteria mixed with healthy extracts. The detection threshold was 101-102 GE/flower, and good correlation was found up to 105 GE/flower. The simplicity and rapidity of detection could make this approach a useful tool in fire blight management, providing data about the actual infection pressure, thus complementing the early warning signals of the nationwide monitoring system. Results obtained during 1999-2001 are reported along with experiences with an in situ sample processing and mail-extraction protocol, which shortens the time needed for diagnosis to 48h from sample collection.
Dorgai, L. and Bubán, T. (2002). RAPID ESTIMATION OF THE EPIPHYTIC POPULATION SIZE OF ERWINIA AMYLOVORA BY PCR. Acta Hortic. 590, 175-179