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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2023

Rapid detection and quantification of Aphanomyces cochlioides in sugar beet

Rossi, Valentina; Bengtsson, Julia; Kiselev, Andrei; Gaulin, Elodie; Holmquist, Louise; Grenville-Briggs, Laura J.

Abstract

Sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.) is an economically important crop in temperate climates providing nearly 30% of sugar production worldwide. The oomycete Aphanomyces cochlioides is the causative agent of seedling damping-off and root rot disease in sugar beet. The pathogen is responsible for plant degeneration and drastic yield losses in all major sugar beet producing areas. The identification of resistant germplasm is essential to reduce the use of chemical treatments as well as the costs of protective measures and to effectively limit the damage caused by the pathogen. In this study we aimed to establish a qPCR-based method to quantify the pathogen DNA in infected plants and to predict the resistance levels of different sugar beet genotypes in response to A. cochlioides. The difference in the response to A. cochlioides isolates with different geographical origins was investigated. In addition, confocal microscopy was performed in order to observe the spatial and temporal colonization pattern in infected seedlings of susceptible and partially resistant breeding lines. The research presented in this article provides a tool to understand the progress of the infection in infected tissues and to identify the genetic background of resistance to A. cochlioides that can be used to support breeding programs.

Keywords

Damping off; Root rot; Beta vulgaris; Oomycete; Aphanomyces; qPCR

Published in

Journal of plant pathology
2023, Volume: 105, number: 4, pages: 1581–1591