Dead or alive? Viability of soybean rust spores
The second technique uses a two-color fluorescent viability probe that causes cylindrical vacuolar structures to form within living spores, which then fluoresce red. Non-viable spores show only faint fluorescence.
Hartman said that these tests are rapid and reliable. Early detection coupled with timely fungicide application can help slow the pathogen’s spread and minimize yield losses.
The next step is to integrate this method with passive spore sampling to develop a tool to detect and monitor the movement of viable P. pachyrhizi spores during the soybean growing season.
The article, “A Multiplexed Immunofluorescence Method Identifies Phakopsora pachyrhizi Urediniospores and Determines Their Viability” by R. Vittal, J. S. Haudenshield, and G. L. Hartman has been published in Phytopathology and is available at http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1094/PHYTO-02-12-0040-R.