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The Promise and Pitfalls of Sequence-Based Identification of Plant-Pathogenic Fungi and Oomycetes

TitleThe Promise and Pitfalls of Sequence-Based Identification of Plant-Pathogenic Fungi and Oomycetes
Publication TypeJournal Article
2010
AuthorsKang, S, Mansfield, MA, Park, B, Geiser, DM, Ivors, KL, Coffey, MD, Grünwald, NJ, Martin, FN, Levesque, CA, Blair, JE
JournalPhytopathology
Volume100
Pagination732-737
Date PublishedAug
0031-949X
ISI:000280139600001
culture collection, database, diagnosis, DNA barcode, DNA-sequences, fusarium, genbank, life, molecular phylogeny, phylogeny, phytophthora, recognition, solani species complex, taxonomy, tree

Sequences of selected marker loci have been widely used for the identification of specific pathogens and the development of sequence-based diagnostic methods. Although such approaches offer several advantages over traditional culture-based methods for pathogen diagnosis and identification, they have their own pitfalls. These include erroneous and incomplete data in reference databases, poor or oversimplified interpretation of search results, and problems associated with defining species boundaries. In this letter, we outline the potential benefits and drawbacks of using sequence data for identification and taxonomic deductions of plant-pathogenic fungi and oomycetes, using Phytophthora as a primary example. We also discuss potential remedies for these pitfalls and address why coordinated community efforts are essential to make such remedies more efficient and robust.

Citation Key130