A Rapid and Reliable Method for Molecular Detection of Fusarium guttiforme, the Etiological Agent of Pineapple Fusariosis


Braz. arch. biol. technol.




Abstract Pineapple (Ananas comosus var. comosus) fusariosis is an economically important fungal disease affecting the plant and its fruit. A rapid and reliable diagnosis is the base of integrated disease management practices. Fusariosis has resulted in quarantines for pineapple products in Central America, Africa and Asia. Difficulties diagnosing and correctly identifying the fungus Fusarium guttiforme, agent of the pineapple fusariosis, have led to the search for new methodologies, and for this we developed a new reliable molecular method to detect it. For diagnostic purposes, real-time PCR of elongation factor gene 1-α (ef1) was used to rapidly, specifically and sensitively diagnose F. guttiforme. A pathogenicity test was conducted with slips of the pineapple cultivar Pérola, a multiplex PCR was run, and the results compared with those obtained with real-time PCR. The real-time PCR assay with its specific primer set could readity distinguish F. guttiforme from other Fusarium species known to occur on pineapple. The real-time PCR test had 95% sensitivity and 100% specificity with a significance level p<0.0001. For field samples the test had 100% sensitivity and specificity. Thus, this new test is fit for use in serial analyses of pineapples, and may have application in the evaluation of propagation materials and making quarantine decisions. The ability to rapidly and specifically detect F. guttiforme in plant samples will facilitate monitoring of the pathogen and improve disease management.

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