EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 06 - 2007 Num. article: 2007/118

A new PCR test to detect Tilletia indica

In many countries, the diagnostic of Tilletia indica (EPPO A1 List) involves the identification of spores on the basis of morphology, followed by a molecular analysis. In these protocols, the germination of spores is required for confirmation but implies a long delay of about two weeks. In order to speed up the diagnostic process, a new PCR test to detect T. indica has been developed in Australia. With this method, the fungus can be directly and rapidly detected on a very small number of spores (less than 10). In addition, this PCR test was found to be highly specific. It could clearly distinguish T. indica from other Tilletia species found on lots of wheat grain, as well as from the closely related species T. walkeri. The authors felt that this new PCR test could be particularly useful for quarantine purposes and surveillance programmes.


Tan MK, Murray GM (2006) A molecular protocol using quenched FRET probes for the quarantine surveillance of Tilletia indica, the causal agent of Karnal bunt of wheat. Mycological Research, 110(2), 203-210.