Genomics-based marker discovery and diagnostic assay development for wheat blast

Michael L. Pieck, Amy Ruck, Mark L. Farman, Gary L. Peterson, James P. Stack, Barbara Valent, Kerry F. Pedley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Wheat blast has emerged as a major threat to wheat production in South America. Although originally restricted to Brazil, the disease has since been observed in the neighboring countries of Argentina, Bolivia, and Paraguay and recently the pathogen, Magnaporthe oryzae Triticum pathotype, was isolated from infected wheat in Bangladesh. There is growing concern that the pathogen may continue to spread to other parts of the world, including the United States, where several M. oryzae pathotypes are endemic. M. oryzae pathotypes are morphologically indistinguishable and, therefore, must be characterized genotypically. Symptoms of wheat blast include bleaching of the head, which closely resembles the symptoms of Fusarium head blight, further complicating efforts to monitor for the presence of the pathogen in the field. We used a genomics-based approach to identify molecular markers unique to the Triticum pathotype of M. oryzae. One of these markers, MoT3, was selected for the development of a polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based diagnostic assay that was evaluated for specificity using DNA from 284 M. oryzae isolates collected from a diverse array of host species. Conventional PCR primers were designed to amplify a 361-bp product, and the protocol consistently amplified from as little as 0.1 ng of purified DNA. The specificity of the MoT3-based assay was also evaluated using Fusarium spp. DNA, from which no amplicons were detected.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-109
Number of pages7
JournalPlant Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Phytopathological Society. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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