Journal of Plant Growth Regulation

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 282–288

Detection and Measurement of Plasmodiophora brassicae


DOI: 10.1007/s00344-009-9092-9

Cite this article as:
Faggian, R. & Strelkov, S.E. J Plant Growth Regul (2009) 28: 282. doi:10.1007/s00344-009-9092-9


Clubroot, caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae, is one of the most important diseases of brassicas. Management of clubroot is difficult, and the best means of avoiding the disease include planting in areas where P. brassicae is not present and using plants and growing media free from pathogen inoculum. As P. brassicae is not culturable, its detection has traditionally relied on plant bioassays, which are time-consuming and require large amounts of glasshouse space. More recently, fluorescence microscopy, serology, and DNA-based methods have all been used to test soil, water, or plant samples for clubroot. The use of fluorescence microscopy to detect and count pathogen spores in the soil requires significant operator skill and is unlikely to serve as the basis for a routine diagnostic test. By contrast, serologic assays are inexpensive and amenable to high-throughput screening but need to be based on monoclonal antibodies because polyclonal antisera cannot be reproduced and are therefore of limited quantity. Several polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based assays have also been developed; these are highly specific for P. brassicae and have been well-correlated with disease severity. As such, PCR-based diagnostic tests have been adopted to varying extents in Canada and Australia, but wide implementation has been restricted by sample processing costs. Efforts are underway to develop inexpensive serologic on-farm diagnostic kits and to improve quantification of pathogen inoculum levels through real-time PCR. Proper detection and quantification of P. brassicae will likely play an increasingly important role in the development of effective clubroot management strategies.


Clubroot Plasmodiophora brassicae Crucifers Detection Quantification Plant disease 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Primary IndustriesParkvilleAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional ScienceUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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