PORTLAND, Me. -- EnviroLogix Inc. has announced the release of its QuickStix(TM) Kit for Soybean Rust, the first and only commercial kit available in a lateral flow strip format to detect soybean rust infections in plant tissue.

Field tested in South Africa, Brazil and Argentina on soybean leaves infected with Asian soybean rust, the QuickStix Kit is proven to provide a qualitative (presence/absence) answer in the field. The company said the method is fast, accurate and simple enough for anyone to use, and all the necessary materials are included.

The test screens for the presence of soybean rust caused by Phakopsora pachyrhizi. The strip test can detect the presence of the pathogen at the very early stages of infection, from chlorotic lesions (before formation of a pustule) to immature pustules (not releasing spores). During this period it is critical, but often difficult, to differentiate soybean rust symptoms from other diseases caused by bacterial, viral or fungal infections and/or insect damage.

In addition, the test can also be used to detect and/or verify advanced rust symptoms and spores, and does not cross react with several other rust infections caused by the genera Uromyces and Puccinia, complementing visual inspections.

Although infection levels in the field vary widely depending on environmental conditions, during controlled inoculation studies this kit detected the presence of soybean rust infection even before the appearance of visual symptoms.

This breakthrough gives crop consultants, extension agents, commercial growers and field scouts a rapid and reliable tool to detect this devastating disease in its earliest stages of infection, EnviroLogix said. The quick results supplied will be an aid in making informed decisions for confirming and managing the disease.

In anticipation of the need for rapid tests for soybean rust, EnviroLogix began a development program more than two years ago to produce kits in two different formats. The ELISA plate format for laboratory testing was introduced in 2005, and after extensive testing and expert input, the QuickStix lateral flow version is now commercially available.

The QuickStix Kit for Soybean Rust (Cat. No. AS 107) is available directly from EnviroLogix at around $4 per strip. Each kit contains strips and disposables for 25 or 50 tests. Detailed information on the EnviroLogix kits is available at www.envirologix.com (click on "Catalog," then "Plant Pathogens" for more details about the soybean rust kit).

EnviroLogix develops, manufactures and markets immunoassay diagnostic test kits designed to detect genetically modified organisms (GMOs), mycotoxins in grains, pathogens in plants, algal toxins in water, and pesticide residues in water, soil and food.

SOURCE: News release from EnviroLogix.