New molecular tests for bacterial diseases in horticultural crops

News publication date: 22 April 2020

The testing laboratory has new PCR tests for the detection of both Agrobacterium tumefaciens and Rhodococcus fascians. The direct plant extract PCR test has been validated for plant samples of various crops.

DNA lab

Agrobacterium tumefaciens

Agrobacterium tumefaciens (Atum), also known as crown gall disease, is a soil bacterium found worldwide. Pathogenic strains can cause the formation of tumours in many horticultural crops. Infections can cause leaf discolouration, stunted growth and even crop mortality.

The previous test protocol for Atum applied for plant material and water. For plant material, the culture method is now replaced by the new PCR test. For the test method on water there are no changes. This test can also still be requested at our laboratory.

Rhodococcus fascians

Rhodococcus fascians (Rfas), also known as leafy gall disease, is a common bacterium in ornamental plants. Infections with this pathogenic bacterium can lead to the development of galls or stalk or leaf deformation. The symptoms are sometimes confused with galls caused by Agrobacterium tumefaciens or phytoplasmas. Rfas is increasingly common in ornamental crops, so timely detection is vital. 

  • Sample size:
    • Atum test if requested separately: max. 5 pieces of stalk
    • Rfas test if requested separately: max. 5 to 10 pieces of stalk, if possible with leaf bud
    • Combination of both: max. 5 pieces of stalk
  • Fees*:
    • If requested separately: € 44 per sample
    • Combination of both: € 60 per sample
  • Duration of the test: average 3 days

*These are the test fees. For the standard fees and follow-up tests, please refer to the Fees (price list).