Submitted to: Journal of Sugarbeet Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/27/2004
Publication Date: 1/10/2005
Citation: Weiland, J.J., Shelver, W.L. 2005. Production and characterization of antiserum to aphanomyces cochlioides. Journal of Sugarbeet Research. 41(4) 179-190. Interpretive Summary: Sugarbeet root rot caused by Aphanomyces cochlioides is a serious disease affecting roots of the crop in the field. The diagnosis of root rot caused by this organism can be problematic since other fungi cause root rots as well. Antisera tests for disease causing organisms have been used extensively in disease diagnosis in humans and in agricultural products. Yet no antisera test was ever before developed for this disease of sugarbeet. Here we report that antiserum raised in rabbits against dead Aphanomyces cochlioides is capable of detecting this organism in diseased beet plants. The antiserum should prove useful to agricultural diagnostic laboratories and to basic research on sugarbeets.
Technical Abstract: Methods for the evaluation of root rot disease in sugarbeet caused by pathogenic fungi historically have relied on visual assessment. In an initial attempt to develop complementary means for evaluating levels of root rot disease caused by A. cochlioides, antiserum was produced in rabbits that had been immunized with a cell-wall preparation of this organism. Specificity tests using enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) indicate that the antiserum is strongly reactive with both A. cochlioides and A. euteiches, but weakly with oomycetes non-pathogenic to sugarbeet, with filamentous fungi that infect sugarbeet, or with extracts prepared from healthy sugarbeet. A 1:2,000 dilution of the serum was sufficient to readily detect A. cochlioides in infected sugarbeet seedlings. Sugarbeet roots obtained from a piling station in Minnesota, USA that exhibited adult root rot symptoms characteristic of those caused by A. cochlioides tested negative for the presence of this pathogen. Use of the antiserum for the detection of A. cochlioides in sugarbeet infected in the field and in greenhouse screening programs for evaluating varietal resistance to this pathogen are discussed.