, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 75-79

Molecular detection and differentiation of Australian Armillaria species

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A specific molecular diagnostic test was developed to aid in the identification of Australian Armillaria species. The test involves polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification using the primer pair A1F and A2R followed by restriction cleavage by Taq 1. Sample populations of the four predominant Australian species, A. luteobubalina, A. hinnulea, A. fumosa and A. novae-zelandiae were collected in the form of basidiome tissue, diploid vegetative culture or infected root material. All samples were correctly identified as Armillaria using the test and subsequently identified to species level by comparing the Taq 1 restriction patterns. Variation was observed within A. luteobubalina Taq 1 restriction patterns, which suggested the presence of sexual recombination within the population. This procedure will assist in the diagnosis of Armillaria root rot and enable an accurate species identification to be made from infected root material or basidiome tissue.