Verticillium species are soilborne plant pathogens, responsible for big yield losses worldwide. Here, we report improved procedures to generate DNA from Verticillium species imbedded in farm soils. Using new genomic sequence information, primers for V. dahliae, V. albo-atrum, V. tricorpus, and V. longisporum were designed. In a survey of 429 samples from intensively farmed soil of two Swedish regions, only V. dahliae and V. longisporum were identified. A bias towards V. longisporum (40%) was seen in the south, whereas V. dahliae was more frequent in the western region (19%). Analyses of soil and leaf samples from 20 sugar beet fields, where foliar wilting had been observed, revealed V. dahliae DNA in all leaf and soil samples and V. longisporum in 18 soil samples, illustrating host choice and longevity of the V. longisporum microsclerotia. This study demonstrates the applicability of new molecular diagnostic tools that are important for growers of variable crops.
Keywords: Beta vulgaris; Brassica napus; Soilborne pathogens; Verticillium; qPCR.