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Development and validation of a real-time quantitative PCR assay to detect Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. allii from onion seed

Robène I., Perret M., Jouen E., Escalon A., Maillot M.V., Chabirand A., Moreau A., Laurent A., Chiroleu F., Pruvost O.. 2015. Journal of Microbiological Methods, 114 : p. 78-86.

DOI: 10.1016/j.mimet.2015.04.017

Bacterial blight of onion is an emerging disease threatening world onion production. The causal agent Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. allii is seed transmitted and a reliable and sensitive tool is needed to monitor seed exchanges. A triplex quantitative real-time PCR assay was developed targeting two X. axonopodis pv. allii-specific markers and an internal control chosen in 5.8S rRNA gene from Alliaceae. Amplification of at least one marker indicates the presence of the bacterium in seed extracts. This real-time PCR assay detected all the 79 X. axonopodis pv. allii strains tested and excluded 85.2% of the 135 non-target strains and particularly all 39 saprophytic and pathogenic bacteria associated with onion. Cross-reactions were mainly obtained for strains assigned to nine phylogenetically related X. axonopodis pathovars. The cycle cut-off was estimated statistically at 36.3 considering a risk of false positive of 1%. The limit of detection obtained in at least 95% of the time (LOD 95%) was 5 × 103 CFU/g (colony forming unit/g). The sensitivity threshold was found to be 1 infected seed in 32,790 seeds. This real-time PCR assay should be useful for preventing the long-distance spread of X. axonopodis pv. allii via contaminated seed lots and determining the epidemiology of the bacterium.

Mots-clés : allium cepa; xanthomonas; semence; diagnostic; pcr; xanthomonas axonopodis; réunion; france

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