Detection of the bacterial potato pathogens pectobacterium and dickeya spp. using conventional and real-time PCR

Sonia N. Humphris, Greig Cahill, John G. Elphinstone, Rachel Kelly, Neil M. Parkinson, Leighton Pritchard, Ian K. Toth, Gerry S. Saddler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)


Blackleg and soft rot of potato, caused by Pectobacterium and Dickeya spp., are major production constraints in many potato-growing regions of the world. Despite advances in our understanding of the causative organisms, disease epidemiology, and control, blackleg remains the principal cause of down- grading and rejection of potato seed in classification schemes across Northern Europe and many other parts of the world. Although symptom recognition is relatively straightforward and is applied universally in seed classification schemes, attributing disease to a specific organism is problematic and can only be achieved through the use of diagnostics. Similarly as disease spread is largely through the movement of asymptomatically infected seed tubers and, possibly in the case of Dickeya spp., irrigation waters, accurate and sensitive diagnostics are a prerequisite for detection. This chapter describes the diagnostic pathway that can be applied to identify the principal potato pathogens within the genera Pectobacterium and Dickeya.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages17
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • blackleg
  • dickeya
  • pectobacterium
  • real-time PCR
  • soft rot


  • 1 Participation in conference
  • 1 Invited talk

UK DNA Working Group Conference 2020

Leighton Pritchard (Invited speaker)

27 Jan 202028 Jan 2020

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in conference

Computational design of Pectobacterium diagnostics

Leighton Pritchard (Speaker)

16 Nov 2018

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Cite this

Humphris, S. N., Cahill, G., Elphinstone, J. G., Kelly, R., Parkinson, N. M., Pritchard, L., Toth, I. K., & Saddler, G. S. (2015). Detection of the bacterial potato pathogens pectobacterium and dickeya spp. using conventional and real-time PCR. Methods in Molecular Biology, 1302, 1-16.