Monoclonal Antibody-Based Assays for Detection and Quantification of Botrytis Cinerea
Botrytis cinerea Pers is responsible for the widespread grey mould disease of plants throughout temperate climates. It can infect an amazing diverse variety of plants but it is most noted for the serious losses that it causes in the fresh fruit, vegetable and cut flower industries The air-borne conidia germinating on plant surfaces either cause an immediate damaging, necrotrophic rot in growing plants or, they remain localized in the outer tissues until harvest and shipment where upon the organism then becomes invasive causing considerable post harvest losses. Although losses can be minimised by repeated applications of fungicides throughout the growing season there are increasing environmental and economic concerns about the prophylactic use of fungicides particularly with respect to fresh fruits and vegetables where fungicide residues have been detected. In order to target fungicide applications to the periods of highest risk and thereby reduce the number of spray applications during the growing season, we need to be able to measure not only the environmental factors that have the greatest effect on the spread of the conidia and development of the disease but also quantify the numbers of air-borne spores present at high risk times so that disease forecasting models can be made more accurate. Information on levels of air-borne conidia would also be invaluable in determining the growth stage and route by which quiescent infections are initiated. Furthermore, in order to minimize post harvest losses we also need to be able to detect symptomless infections before shipment of produce. We have addressed these various needs by developing immunological assays using the Botrytis - monoclonal antibody BC-KH4 raised by Bossi and Dewey (1992).
KeywordsFresh Fruit Botrytis Cinerea Grape Skin Post Harvest Loss Digital Image Analysis System
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