Diagnostics and Identification of Diseases, Insects and Mites

  • Davide SpadaroEmail author
  • Nuria Agustí
  • Sara Franco Ortega
  • Monica A. Hurtado Ruiz
Part of the Plant Pathology in the 21st Century book series (ICPP, volume 9)


Rapid and reliable diagnostic methods for arthropod pests and pathogens allow for a rational and efficient use of plant protection products. Traditional detection methods based on visual assessment of plant symptoms, isolation, culturing in selective media, and direct microscopic observation of pathogens are frequently laborious, time-consuming and require extensive knowledge of classical taxonomy. Molecular techniques are faster, more specific, sensitive, and accurate than traditional techniques. Plant viral and bacterial diagnostics have been traditionally based on serological methods, such as ELISA or Lateral Flow Devices. New molecular techniques (qPCR, digital PCR, microarray) have been developed, optimized and validated in the last years with different applications to pest and pathogen detection and identification. HTS technologies are having an enormous impact on biological sciences, allowing the determination of genome variation within a species or a population. The use of field techniques, such as LAMP and portable platforms, is a promising tool to early and quickly detect pests. One of the critical points of on-site detection consists in the use of simple and user-friendly nucleic acid extraction procedure, involving a low number of steps. The choice of the diagnostic technique depends on the balance between the reliability and the cost of the analysis.


Digital PCR ELISA High throughput sequencing In field diagnostics LAMP Lateral flow devices Microarray Molecular markers Phylogeny Real time PCR 



Work carried out with a funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 634179 “Effective Management of Pests and Harmful Alien Species – Integrated Solutions” (EMPHASIS) and under grant agreement No 773139 “Validation of diagnostic tests to support plant health (VALITEST)”. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Davide Spadaro
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nuria Agustí
    • 3
  • Sara Franco Ortega
    • 1
  • Monica A. Hurtado Ruiz
    • 4
  1. 1.Centre of Competence for the Innovation in the Agro-environmental Sector – AGROINNOVAUniversity of TurinGrugliascoItaly
  2. 2.Department of Agricultural, Forestry and Food Sciences (DiSAFA)University of TorinoGrugliascoItaly
  3. 3.Sustainable Plant Protection ProgrammeInstitute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA)Cabrils (Barcelona)Spain
  4. 4.Departament de Ciències Agràries i del Medi Natural, Unitat Associada d’Entomologia Agrícola UJI – Institut Valencià d’Investigacions Agràries (IVIA)Universitat Jaume I (UJI)Castelló de la PlanaSpain

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