The lack of a rapid and reliable means for routine pathogen identification has been one of the main limitations in plant disease management, and has pushed the development of culture-independent, molecular approaches. Currently, DNA array technology is the most suitable technique for high-throughput detection and identification, as well as quantification, of multiple pathogens in a single assay. Closely related pathogens that may have completely different host ranges or pathogenicity often differ in only a single to a few base pairs in genes that may be targeted for identification. Therefore, the ability to discriminate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) should be pursued in any diagnostic assay. In this paper, we demonstrate the utility of DNA array technology to detect SNPs while accounting for specific criteria such as the position of the mismatch, the sequence of the oligonucleotide, and the length and amount of labeled amplicons that are hybridized. When disregarding mismatches at the extreme ends of the oligonucleotides, cross hybridization to single mismatch oligonucleotides is rare when processing environmental samples that contain genetic material from unknown sources. In addition to plant pathology, this study is relevant for any field of research where DNA arrays are used to detect mutations or polymorphisms, ranging from human diagnostics to environmental microbiology and microbial ecology.
- dot-blot hybridization
- wilt pathogens