Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction Quantification of Phytophthora Capsici in Different Pepper Genotypes

Phytopathology. 2005 Dec;95(12):1423-9. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-95-1423.


ABSTRACT Reliable and sensitive quantification of Phytophthora capsici in pepper plants is of crucial importance in managing the multiple syndromes caused by this pathogen. A real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay was developed for the determination of P. capsici in pepper tissues. DNA levels of a highly virulent and a less virulent isolate were measured in different pepper genotypes with varying degrees of resistance. Using SYBR Green and specific primers for P. capsici, the minimal amount of pathogen DNA quantified was 10 pg. Pathogen DNA was recorded as early as 8 h postinoculation. Thereafter, the increase was rapid in susceptible cultivars and slower in resistant ones. The amount of pathogen DNA quantified in each pepper genotype correlated with susceptibility to Phytophthora root rot. Likewise, there was a relationship between the virulence of the pathogen and the degree of colonization. Differences also were found in oomycete amount among pepper tissues, with maximal pathogen biomass occurring in stems. The real-time PCR technique developed in this study was sensitive and robust enough to assess both pathogen development and resistance to Phytophthora root rot in different pepper genotypes.