Detection and prediction of fireblight
The detection and identification of Erwinia amylovora by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was reported by Bereswil and associates from Germany. This technique can be used for reliable detection and identification of the causal agent of fireblight even in infected pollen grains.
Clark & Hale reported from New Zealand the successful use of a sensitive DNA hybridization technique to detect fireblight in large scale apple testing and for epidemiological studies.
The use of a fatty acid class analysis to detect E. amylovora was reported by Van der Zwet & Wells (US). The use of this method and the subsequent build-up of a fatty acid library resulted, according to the authors, in the reliable detection and identification of different strains of the pathogen.
MARYBLYTTM, a computer model to forecast the occurrence of fireblight was presented in a new improved version. Lightner & Steiner (US), the developers of this programme, explained the modifications of this system which were made following suggestions from researchers on fireblight.
Several evaluations of MARYBLYTTM were presented by various participants of the workshop. Van der Zwet & Lightner (US) and Bonn & Leuty (CA) evaluated the prediction model as accurate in its ability to predict blossom blight occurrence in orchards.
Smith (US) and Sobiczewki & Berczynski (PL) stated that the prediction model has the tendency to overestimate E. amylovora occurrence in some cases.
6th International Workshop on Fireblight, Athens (1992-10-20/23)