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Serological detection of Didymella lycopersici (Kleb.) Kimani, Esther Wairimu


Polyclonal antisera produced against spores, soluble protein and the whole mycelium fractions of Didymella lycopersici reacted with the homologous and heterologous antigens. The most sensitive antiserum was that raised against the whole mycelium, the soluble protein and the spore, in decreasing order of sensitivity. Using the antiserum raised against the whole mycelium it was possible to detect D. lycopersici on diseased plants and infested seeds. Cross reactivity was observed between the antisera produced to D. lycopersici and D. applanata, D. bryoniae and other tomato fungal pathogens including Fusarium spp. and B. cinerea. ELISA was most sensitive and reliable compared to double immunodiffusion, and latex tests. No reactions were obtained using the latex agglutination procedure and no antiserum detected spores in double diffusion tests. Protein profiles on SDS-PAGE revealed that the total number of protein bands decreased with increased age of cultures of D. lycopersici incubated in liquid media. Western blots probed with the antiserum raised against the whole mycelium showed that protein bands from extracts of both D. lycopersici and D. applanata were antigenic.

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