Image_3_Comparative Evaluation of the LAMP Assay and PCR-Based Assays for the Rapid Detection of Alternaria solani.JPEG

Early blight (EB), caused by the pathogen Alternaria solani, is a major threat to global potato and tomato production. Early and accurate diagnosis of this disease is therefore important. In this study, we conducted a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay, as well as conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR), nested PCR, and quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) assays to determine which of these techniques was less time consuming, more sensitive, and more accurate. We based our assays on sequence-characterized amplified regions of the histidine kinase gene with an accession number (FJ424058). The LAMP assay provided more rapid and accurate results, amplifying the target pathogen in less than 60 min at 63°C, with 10-fold greater sensitivity than conventional PCR. Nested PCR was 100-fold more sensitive than the LAMP assay and 1000-fold more sensitive than conventional PCR. qPCR was the most sensitive among the assays evaluated, being 10-fold more sensitive than nested PCR for the least detectable genomic DNA concentration (100 fg). The LAMP assay was more sensitive than conventional PCR, but less sensitive than nested PCR and qPCR; however, it was simpler and faster than the other assays evaluated. Despite of the sensitivity, LAMP assay provided higher specificity than qPCR. The LAMP assay amplified A. solani artificially, allowing us to detect naturally infect young potato leaves, which produced early symptoms of EB. The LAMP assay also achieved positive amplification using diluted pure A. solani culture instead of genomic DNA. Hence, this technique has greater potential for developing quick and sensitive visual detection methods than do other conventional PCR strategies for detecting A. solani in infected plants and culture, permitting early prediction of disease and reducing the risk of epidemics.