Detection of the bacterial potato pathogens Pectobacterium and Dickeya spp. Using conventional and real-time PCR

Sonia N. Humphris (Lead / Corresponding author), Greig Cahill, John G. Elphinstone, Rachel Kelly, Neil M. Parkinson, Leighton Pritchard, Ian K. Toth, Gerry S. Saddler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Blackleg and soft rot of potato, caused by Pectobacterium and Dickeya spp., are major production constraints in many potato-growing regions of the world. Despite advances in our understanding of the causative organisms, disease epidemiology, and control, blackleg remains the principal cause of down- grading and rejection of potato seed in classification schemes across Northern Europe and many other parts of the world. Although symptom recognition is relatively straightforward and is applied universally in seed classification schemes, attributing disease to a specific organism is problematic and can only be achieved through the use of diagnostics. Similarly as disease spread is largely through the movement of asymptomatically infected seed tubers and, possibly in the case of Dickeya spp., irrigation waters, accurate and sensitive diagnostics are a prerequisite for detection. This chapter describes the diagnostic pathway that can be applied to identify the principal potato pathogens within the genera Pectobacterium and Dickeya.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPlant pathology
Subtitle of host publicationtechniques and protocols
EditorsChristophe Lacomme
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781493926206
ISBN (Print)9781493926190
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Publication series

NameMethods in molecular biology


  • Blackleg
  • Dickeya
  • Pectobacterium
  • Real-time PCR
  • Soft rot


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