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Plasmodiophora brassicae in its environment-effects of temperature and light on resting spore survival in soil

By Kher Zahr, Alian Sarkes, Yalong Yang, Qixing Zhou, David Feindel, Michael W. Harding, Jie Feng

Posted 25 Oct 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/819524

Clubroot caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae is an important disease on cruciferous crops worldwide. Management of clubroot has been challenging, due largely to the millions of resting spores produced within an infected root that can survive dormant in the soil for many years. This study was conducted to investigate some of the environmental conditions that may affect the survival of resting spores in the soil. Soil samples containing clubroot resting spores (1 × 10 7 spores g ?1 soil) were stored at various temperatures for two years. Additionally, other samples were buried in soil, or kept on the soil surface in the field. The content of P. brassicae DNA and the numbers of viable spores in the samples were assessed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) and pathogenicity bioassays, respectively. The results indicated that 4°C, 20°C and being buried in the soil were better conditions for spore survival than were -20°C, 30°C and at the soil surface. Most of the spores kept on the soil surface were killed, suggesting the negative effect of light on spore viability. Additional experiments confirmed that ultraviolet (UV) light contributed a large negative effect on spore viability as lower pathogenicity and less DNA content were observed from the 2- and 3-hour UV light treated spores compared to the untreated control. Finally, this work demonstrated that DNA-based quantification methods such as qPCR can be poor predictors of P. brassicae disease potential due to the presence and persistence of DNA from dead spores.

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