High-Throughput Diagnosis of Potato Cyst Nematodes in Soil Samples

  • Alex Reid
  • Fiona Evans
  • Vincent Mulholland
  • Yvonne Cole
  • Jon Pickup
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1302)


Potato cyst nematode (PCN) is a damaging soilborne pest of potatoes which can cause major crop losses. In 2010, a new European Union directive (2007/33/EC) on the control of PCN came into force. Under the new directive, seed potatoes can only be planted on land which has been found to be free from PCN infestation following an official soil test. A major consequence of the new directive was the introduction of a new harmonized soil sampling rate resulting in a threefold increase in the number of samples requiring testing. To manage this increase with the same staffing resources, we have replaced the traditional diagnostic methods. A system has been developed for the processing of soil samples, extraction of DNA from float material, and detection of PCN by high-throughput real-time PCR. Approximately 17,000 samples are analyzed each year using this method. This chapter describes the high-throughput processes for the production of float material from soil samples, DNA extraction from the entire float, and subsequent detection and identification of PCN within these samples.

Key words

Potato cyst nematode (PCN) Real-time PCR High throughput Float material 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex Reid
    • 1
  • Fiona Evans
    • 1
  • Vincent Mulholland
    • 1
  • Yvonne Cole
    • 1
  • Jon Pickup
    • 1
  1. 1.Science and Advice for Scottish AgricultureEdinburghUK

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