Novel diagnostic method for ratoon stunting disease: development and implications for RSD management

Young, Anthony J. and Nock, Catherine J. and Martin, Aimee and Ensbey, Mark (2014) Novel diagnostic method for ratoon stunting disease: development and implications for RSD management. In: 36th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists (AASCT 2014), 29 Apr - 1 May 2014, Gold Coast, Australia.


A new molecular RSD diagnostic platform was developed using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on pooled leaf sheath biopsies (LSB-PCR). This non-destructive technique samples leaf sheaths from 50 cane stalks, more than tripling the number of stalks routinely surveyed using the current evaporative-binding enzyme-linked immunoassay (EB-EIA) method, and does not require DNA extraction steps. In-field sample collection takes marginally longer, however primary sample processing takes less than a minute, contrasting favourably with the laborious scrubbing, cutting and pumping of cane stalks required by the EB-EIA method. A sample of 31 fields was selected for analysis after returning an EB-EIA absorbance result of >0.05, of which seven were confirmed as having RSD based on phase contrast microscopy (PCM). LSB-PCR detected RSD in six of these seven fields, but also in an additional seven fields presumed to be negative based on EB-EIA/PCM results. The causal agent of RSD, the bacterium Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, was confirmed as present by sequencing amplicons from three fields, two for those classed positive and one negative for RSD based on the EB-EIA/PCM method. The LSB-PCR is quicker and more sensitive than the EB-EIA method, and has the potential to provide insights into why RSD persists as a major productivity constraint in the Australian industry.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Agricultural, Computational and Environmental Sciences
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2017 01:04
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2018 04:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: Leifsonia xyli subsp. xyli, crop resistance, PCR
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0703 Crop and Pasture Production > 070308 Crop and Pasture Protection (Pests, Diseases and Weeds)
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9604 Control of Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species > 960413 Control of Plant Pests, Diseases and Exotic Species in Farmland, Arable Cropland and Permanent Cropland Environments

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