Genome-Informed Design of a LAMP Assay for the Specific Detection of the Strain of ‘<i>Candidatus</i> Phytoplasma asteris’ Phytoplasma Occurring in Grapevines in South Africa

Alič et al. (2022). Plant Disease 106 (11)
Ca. Phytoplasma asteri Ca. Phytoplasma
Agronomy and Crop Science Plant Science
Grapevine yellows is one of the most damaging phytoplasma-associated diseases worldwide. It is linked to several phytoplasma species, which can vary regionally due to phytoplasma and insect-vector diversity. Specific, rapid, and reliable detection of the grapevine yellows pathogen has an important role in phytoplasma control. The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a specific loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay for detection of a distinct strain of grapevine ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma asteris’ that is present in South Africa, through implementation of a genome-informed test design approach. Several freely available, user-friendly, web-based tools were coupled to design the specific LAMP assays. The criteria for selection of the assays were set for each step of the process, which resulted in four experimentally operative LAMP assays that targeted the ftsH/hflB gene region, specific to the aster yellows phytoplasma strain from South Africa. A real-time PCR was developed, targeting the same genetic region, to provide extensive validation of the LAMP assay. The validated molecular assays are highly specific to the targeted aster yellows phytoplasma strain from South Africa, with good sensitivity and reproducibility. We show a genome-informed molecular test design and an efficient validation approach for molecular tests if reference and sample materials are sparse and hard to obtain. [Formula: see text] Copyright © 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 International license .
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