PCR-based specific detection of Ustilaginoidea virens and Ephelis japonica

Zhou, Y.L.; Izumitsu, K.; Sonoda, R.; Nakazaki, T.; Tanaka, E.; Tsuda, M.; Tanaka, C.

Journal of Phytopathology (Berlin) 151(9): 513-518


ISSN/ISBN: 0931-1785
DOI: 10.1046/j.1439-0434.2003.00761.x
Accession: 003874451

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A PCR-based technique for detection of clavicipitaceous pathogens in rice and related grasses was developed. The target pathogens were Ustilaginoidea virens, which causes rice false smut, and Ephelis japonica, which causes rice udbatta disease and black choke in grasses. To design specific primers, a comparison was made on genetic diversity on the rDNA internal transcribed spacers (ITS1 and ITS2) and the 5.8S rRNA gene of U. virens, Ephelis japonica, as well as some other clavicipitaceous fungi. Each fungus was successfully detected by using a specific primer set with high sensitivity. Species-specific primers designed here were capable of detecting these pathogens in plant tissues. The PCR detection was consistent with conventional histological observation. This nested PCR assay was sensitive and reliable for the detection of U. virens and E. japonica, and thus can be a used to study disease cycles and early prediction of false smut and udbatta-disease incidence in fields.