Reliable detection of unevenly distributed Verticillium dahliae in diseased olive trees

Mojtaba Keykha Saber, K.T.K. Pham, B.P.H.J. Thomma, J.A. Hiemstra*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Verticillium wilt caused by Verticillium dahliae is one of the most threatening diseases of olive worldwide. For pre-planting and post-planting control of verticillium wilt in olive trees, availability of a rapid, reliable and non-destructive method for detection of V. dahliae is essential. For such a method, suitable and easily performed sampling and efficient processing of samples for extraction of DNA are necessary. In this study, the suitability of young twig and leaf samples of olive trees, which are easy to collect and extract DNA from, were assessed for the detection of V. dahliae in routine procedures. The lower (about 50 cm from the tip) and top parts (about 5 cm from the tip) of twigs, as well as leaves from infected olive trees were screened for V. dahliae infection and distribution using real-time PCR. The biomass of V. dahliae detected in individual twigs was highly variable, but there was no significant difference between mean quantities of V. dahliae DNA detected in top and lower parts of twigs. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that analysis of combined samples containing DNA extracted from five twigs of an infected tree accurately detected the presence of the pathogen. Similarly, testing combined samples of 5–10 leaves enabled reliable detection of the pathogen in an infected tree. The development of this assay enables reliable detection of V. dahliae in infected olive trees that can aid in management decisions for the implementation of integrated disease management.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)641-650
JournalPlant Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • disease management
  • in planta DNA quantification
  • ITS primers
  • Olea europaea
  • real-time PCR
  • vascular wilt


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