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Molecular identification of Nectriaceae in infections of apple replant disease affected roots collected by Harris Uni-Core punching or laser microdissection (2020)

Popp C., Wamhoff D., Winkelmann T., Maiss E., Grunewaldt-Stöcker G.

Journal of Plant Diseases and Protection, 127 (4), 571-582

doi:10.1007/s41348-020-00333-x

Abstract

AbstractApple replant disease (ARD) negatively affects growth and yield of apple plants worldwide. Fungi belonging to the Nectriaceae have often been isolated from roots grown in replant soils and thus are proposed among others as one biotic cause of the disease complex. Microscopic analyses of ARD-affected roots revealed characteristic symptoms associated with fungal infection sites. Here, two extraction methods of such tissue sites were applied to directly identify an unknown fungus that forms typical cauliflower-like structures in diseased root cortex cells. Punching small tissue samples of about 0.5 mm3 volume with the Harris Uni-Core is a quick and easy method to harvest symptomatic material. Secondly, a laser microdissection (LMD) protocol for apple roots was established. This technique allows the extraction of defined cell or tissue fractions from thin cryo-sections. Tissue harvesting was followed by the identification of fungi via PCR amplification of two gene fragments and Sanger sequencing. For Harris samples, Chelex was used for DNA stabilization, while LMD samples were directly submitted to PCR. In Harris samples, mainly the Nectriaceae species Dactylonectria torresensis, Ilyonectria robusta and Rugonectria rugulosa were identified. In addition to these, in LMD samples Cylindrocladiella sp. and Ilyonectria europaea were detected. Thus, the intracellular CF structures contained different species of Nectriaceae in the ARD-affected cortex cells. These results contribute considerably to the etiology of the ARD. Both protocols offer the possibility to identify fungi from selected symptomatic small root sections by molecular tools avoiding isolation and subsequent axenic pure cultures of single fungal isolates. ORDIAmur