European Journal of Plant Pathology

, Volume 106, Issue 4, pp 373–378 | Cite as

Genomic Variation within Monilinia laxa, M. fructigena and M. fructicola, and Application to Species Identification by PCR

  • Renaud Ioos
  • Pascal Frey


Brown rot and twig canker of fruit trees are caused by Monilinia laxa, M. fructigena and M. fructicola. The Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) between the 18S and the 28S rRNA genes of four M. laxa and four M. fructigena isolates collected in France was amplified by Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) using universal primers and sequenced. Multiple alignment of the ITS sequences and comparison with published sequences revealed very little intraspecific variation and a low interspecific polymorphism clustered in two regions. Species-specific PCR primers were designed to amplify a 356 bp fragment for each of the three species. The specificity of the three primer pairs was successfully tested with a collection of 17 M. laxa, 18 M. fructigena and 6 M. fructicola isolates collected from different hosts and different countries, unequivocally confirming the identification of each isolate based on morphological and cultural traits. Using stringent PCR conditions, no cross-reaction was observed with any of the isolates tested. The specificity of the PCR assays was also successfully confirmed with DNA extracted from different fungal species, either phylogenetically close to the genus Monilinia or commonly found on diseased fruits. Using this new reliable technique, doubtful isolates can be directly identified in a single PCR run. Moreover, detection and identification of the Monilinia species were successfully achieved directly on diseased fruits. This simple and rapid method can be particularly useful to detect M. fructicola which is a listed quarantine fungus in all European countries.

Monilinia laxa Monilinia fructigena Monilinia fructicola brown rot molecular identification species-specific primers 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renaud Ioos
    • 1
  • Pascal Frey
    • 2
  1. 1.Unité de Mycologie Agricole et ForestièreLNPVNancyFrance
  2. 2.Unité Ecosystèmes Forestiers, Equipe de Pathologie ForestièreINRAChampenouxFrance

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