Three new Phytophthora detection methods, including training dogs to sniff out the pathogen, prove reliable


Multiple species of Phytophthora have been identified in production facilities of plants used in reforestation and restoration projects. There's a risk that infected plant stock will lead to Phytophthora species establishing and spreading in habitats that, having never experienced their presence, may be highly susceptible to infection. Eradication of these pathogens, once introduced into wildlands, is impossible. Thus, monitoring nursery stock is key, but sampling large production lots is still prohibitively complex and expensive. We tested three new sampling approaches that are practical for large production lots: baiting of small portions of symptomatic plant material pooled from multiple samples in addition to whole plant sampling; baiting of bench irrigation leachate; and training dogs to identify the pathogens. The first two methods detected Phytophthora with a high confidence level directly from batches of plants, but they are not designed to identify each infected plant specifically. Trained dogs identified individual batches of soil and water containing Phytophthora with a 100% accuracy and the research is continuing, to see if dogs can recognize the pathogen from individual infected plants and plant parts and discriminate its smell from other scents

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oai:doaj.org/article:1e8cb04fb7d5453297c9c46580302378Last time updated on 6/4/2019

This paper was published in Directory of Open Access Journals.

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