A large number of economically important diseases of agricultural commodities are primarily dispersed by aerial spores, and their detection and quantification are extremely important in forecasting both the onset and the risk of epiphytotics (Dean et al. 2012). For instance, incursions by rust pathogens have been well documented (Carnegie et al. 2010). Although the aerial movement of fungal spores cannot be prevented, their accurate detection and quantification selleck chemicals llc can be useful to predict where or how far they might travel and can contribute greatly to the development of disease progression models and to the drafting of
pest risk mapping (Garbelotto et al. 2008; Venette et al. 2010). In order to be detected, airborne propagules need to be firstly collected using spore traps. In conventional analyses, once airborne pathogens have been trapped, they need to be analysed using either microscopy or cultural methods. Both approaches are time-consuming, require experienced personnel and may be unreliable. For example, it can be difficult to distinguish between different spore Galunisertib types purely on morphological
features, making identification by microscopy difficult. Culturing can be equally tricky if a suitable selective medium is not available or the spores are not culturable in vitro. It has been reported that a culture-based method underestimated the concentrations of airborne environmental fungi by 1–2 orders of magnitude against a qPCR assay (Yamamoto et al. 2010). Many trapping devices have been combined with molecular methods because DNA can be directly extracted and analysed from trapped propagules
(Jackson and Bayliss 2011). This simplifies analyses and, in the case of qPCR, also enables the accurate quantification of the pathogen. In a recent study, DNA was extracted from ascospores of Sclerotinia sclerotiorum collected with wax-coated plastic selleck chemicals tapes and quantified by SYBR green qPCR (Rogers et al. 2009). The method was sensitive enough to detect ascospores as low as 1–4. Patterns of spore deposition by Fusarium circinatum, the causal agent of pine pitch canker, were studied with a qPCR approach and suggested at least midrange aerial dispersal of spores that were detected at distances >200 m from any pine (Garbelotto et al. 2008). The role of airborne inoculum in the initiation of leaf blotch (Rhynchosporium secalis) epidemics in winter barley was studied by combining a volumetric spore trap and a qPCR method (Fountaine et al. 2010). Similarly, the distribution of the airborne inoculum of Mycosphaerella graminicola and Botrytis squamosa was studied on commercial wheat and onion fields, respectively (Carisse et al. 2009; Duvivier et al. 2010). Many plant pathogens have been found in water from supply ponds, lakes, rivers and reservoirs.