The molecular identification and characterisation of Eutypa dieback and a PCR-based assay for the detection of Eutypa and Botryosphaeriaceae species from grapevine in South Africa

Safodien, Sieyaam (2007-12)

Thesis (MSc)--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Grapevine trunk diseases are caused by invasive pathogens that are responsible for the slow decline of vines. In particular, Eutypa dieback of grapevine has had a devastating impact on vineyards worldwide, reducing growth and yield, eventually killing the grapevine. The causal organism of Eutypa dieback was first described as Eutypa armeniacae Hansf. & Carter, the pathogen that causes dieback of apricots, but since 1987 this species has been considered a synonym of Eutypa lata (Pers.:Fr.) Tul & C. Tul (anamorph Libertella blepharis A. L. Smith). Recently, it was proposed that at least two species that are capable of infecting grapevines are responsible for Eutypa dieback. Consequently, the molecular identification and characterisation of Eutypa dieback was used to delineate the species occurring on infected grapevines in South Africa. This involved the molecular analyses of three molecular markers, namely, the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) and large subunit (LSU) regions of the ribosomal DNA operon, and the -tubulin gene. The results obtained revealed the presence of a second species, namely, Eutypa leptoplaca (Mont.) Rappaz, that occurred together with E. lata on infected grapevines. Also co-habiting with these pathogens were related fungi form the Diatrypaceae family, Cryptovalsa ampelina (Nitschke) Fuckel and Eutypella vitis (Schwein.) Ellis & Everhart. Pathogenicity tests conducted on isolates representing C. ampelina, E. lata, E. leptoplaca, and E. vitis revealed that all were pathogenic to grapevine. Several species of Botryosphaeriaceae that commonly invade the woody tissue of grapevines are also pathogenic to grapevine. The symptoms in grapevine commonly associated with Botryosphaeriaceae are easily confused with the symptoms produced by Eutypa dieback which prompted the need for the development of a detection method that can correctly identify the presence of multiple pathogens. A reverse dot blot hybridisation (RDBH) method was subsequently applied to provide a rapid, accurate and reliable means of detecting the Eutypa species involved in the Eutypa disease complex, as well as those species of Botryosphaeriaceae known to cause disease in grapevines. The method involved the use of multiplex PCR to simultaneously amplify and label the regions of DNA that are used as pathogen specific probes. Consequently, membrane immobilised species-specific oligonucleotides synthesised from the ITS, - tubulin and LSU molecular data were evaluated during the application of this diagnostic method to detect Eutypa species. It was found that the species-specific oligonucleotides, designed from ITS sequence data, could consistently detect E. lata and E. leptoplaca. The application of the RDBH method for the detection of these Eutypa species, based on -tubulin and LSU sequence data, however, proved to be unsuccessful. Subsequently, a RDBH method, utilising species-specific oligonucleotides designed from elongation factor-1α sequence data, was successfully applied for the detection of Botyrosphaeria dothidea (Moug.:Fr.) Ces. & De Not., Neofusicoccum luteum (Pennycook & Samuels) Crous, Slippers & A.J.L. Phillips, Neofusicoccum parvum (Pennycook & Samuels) Crous, Slippers, A.J.L. Phillips and Neofusicoccum ribis (Slippers, Crous & M.J. Wingf.) Crous, Slippers & A.J.L. Phillips. The method, however, was unsuccessful for the detection of Diplodia seriata De Not. In addition to the above-mentioned shortcomings, the RDBH was not amenable to the detection of pathogens directly from field or environmental samples, but required preparation of DNA from pure cultures. The method, however, allows for the identification of multiple pathogens in a single assay. As DNA extraction methods are amended, improved and honed to obtain DNA from environmental samples, so would it increase the usefulness of RDBH.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Wingerd stamsiektes word veroorsaak deur patogene wat die vermoë het om wingerdplante te infekteer en dan stadige agteruitgang van dié wingerde te veroorsaak. Veral Eutypa terugsterwing het ‘n vernietigende effek op wingerde wêreldwyd deurdat dit groeikrag en oesmassa verlaag, maar ook omdat dit uiteindelik wingerdstokke kan dood. Die veroorsakende organisme is aanvanklik as Eutypa armeniacae Hansf. & Carter beskryf, die patogeen wat terugsterf by appelkose veroorsaak, maar sedert 1987 word hierdie spesies beskou as ‘n sinoniem van Eutypa lata (Pers.:Fr.) Tul & C. Tul (anamorph Libertella blepharis A. L. Smith). Dit is egter onlangs voorgestel dat ten minste twee spesies die vermoë het om wingerd te infekteer om Eutypa terugsterwing te veroorsaak. Gevolglik is molekulêre identifikasie- en karakteriseringstudies geloods om te bepaal watter spesies Eutypa terugsterwing in Suid-Afrikaanse wingerde veroorsaak. Dit het die molekulêre analise van drie molekulêre merkers behels, naamlik die interne getranskribeerde spasiëerderarea (“ITS”), die groot ribosomale subeenheid (“LSU rDNA”) en β-tubilien geen. Resultate van die filogenetiese analise dui daarop dat ’n tweede spesies, naamlik Eutypa leptoplaca (Mont.) Rappaz, saam met E. lata in geïnfekteerde plante voorkom. Saam met bogenoemde twee spesies het daar ook verwante spesies van die Diatrypaceae familie voorgekom, naamlik Cryptovalsa ampelina (Nitschke) Fuckel en Eutypella vitis (Schwein.) Ellis & Everhart. Patogenisiteitstudies wat uitgevoer is met verteenwoordigende isolate van C. ampelina, E. lata, E. leptoplaca, en E. vitis dui daarop dat almal patogene van wingerd is. Verskeie Botryosphaeriaceae spesies wat gereeld in houtagtige wingerdweefsel aangetref word, is ook patogene van wingerd. Interne simptome wat algemeen met Botryosphaeriaceae infeksies geassosieer word, kan baie maklik met dié van Eutypa terugsterwing verwar word en dit het die nood laat ontstaan om ‘n opsporingsmetode te ontwikkel wat akkuraat genoeg is om tussen veelvoudige infeksies te onderskei. ’n Omgekeerde-stippelklad-hibridisasie (OSH) metode is gevolglik aangewend om Eutypa spesies betrokke in die Eutypa-siektekompleks op ‘n vinnige, akkurate en betroubare manier op te spoor, sowel as die Botryosphaeriaceae species wat bekend is as patogene van wingerd. Die metode behels ’n saamgestelde PKR vir die vermeerdering en merk van DNS areas wat gebruik word as patogeen spesifieke peilers. Spesies-spesifieke oligonukleotiede ontwikkel vanaf die ITS, -tubilien en LSU molekulêre data is op ‘n membraan vasgeheg en gebruik om ’n diagnostiese toets te ontwikkel vir Eutypa species. Merkers ontwikkel vanaf die ITS kon E. lata and E. leptoplaca konsekwent opspoor. Die opspoor van Eutypa spesies met merkers vanaf die -tubulien en LSU gene met OSH was onsuksesvol. Die OSH metode met merkers vanaf die verlengingsfaktor-1α kon susksesvol gebruik word om Botyrosphaeria dothidea (Moug.:Fr.) Ces. & De Not., Neofusicoccum luteum (Pennycook & Samuels) Crous, Slippers & A.J.L. Phillips, Neofusicoccum parvum (Pennycook & Samuels) Crous, Slippers, A.J.L. Phillips and Neofusicoccum ribis (Slippers, Crous & M.J. Wingf.) Crous, Slippers & A.J.L. Phillips op te spoor. Dié metode kon egter nie Diplodia seriata De Not. opspoor nie. Bykomend tot bogenoemde tekortkominge, kon die omgekeerde-stippelklad-hibridisasie metode ook nie aangepas word om patogene direk vanuit plantmateriaal op te spoor nie en word DNS afkomstig vanaf suiwer kulture benodig. Dié metode laat egter identifikasie van verskeie patogene in ‘n enkele toets toe. Soos DNS ekstraksie metodes aangepas, verbeter en verfyn word om DNS vanuit plantmateriaal te verkry, sal die bruikbaarheid van die omgekeerde stippelklad hibridisasie metode ook verbeter.

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