EPPO Global Database

EPPO Reporting Service no. 03 - 2006 Num. article: 2006/066

Real-time PCR to detect Bursaphelenchus xylophilus

A real-time PCR method was developed in China to identify Bursaphelenchus xylophilus (EPPO A1 list). A set of primers and probe specific for B. xylophilus was designed to target the ITS region of ribosomal DNA. This assay was found to be highly specific and sensitive. It also gave satisfactory results when used on samples of wood collected from trunks of symptomatic pine trees in several provinces of China. Nematodes had first to be recovered using a Baermann funnel (2 h) before being tested (singly or in bulk). As real-time PCR is largely automated, it enables a rapid and simultaneous analysis of several samples (up to 96 samples). It was concluded that this real-time PCR could be particularly useful for quarantine purposes.


Cao AX, Liu XZ, Zhu SF, Lu BS (2005) Detection of the pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, using a real-time polymerase chain reaction assay. Phytopathology 95(5), 566-571.