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  • Author or Editor: Frank A. Buffone x
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Chlorotic Leaf Distortion (CLD) is a common disease of sweetpotato caused by Fusarium lateritium. This fungus is unique among Fusarium species in that it grows on the epidermis of leaves and shoot tips of sweetpotato. Fusarium lateritium appears as a white epiphytic material and under bright sunlight causes leaf chlorosis. When cloudy weather persists for several days, all symptoms disappear.

Researchers who use RAPD to examine banding patterns of sweetpotato DNA assume that foreign DNA present in the cTAB extract is quantitatively low and will not appreciably amplify and appear as bands. In this study we found the modified cTAB procedure used to amplify sweetpotato DNA also amplifies DNA of Fusarium lateritium cultures. DNA banding patterns of infected leaves was compared with those free of the disease. No differences in banding patterns were observed in this preliminary study.

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DNA isolated from Fusarium lateritium Nees: Fr.-infected `Jewel' sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] plants was compared to F. lateritium-free `Jewel' plants for differences in random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) marker products. Differences in RAPD marker products were detected. Amplified DNA isolations from F. lateritium-infected `Jewel' plants generated additional, unique DNA fragments not found in amplified DNA isolations of F. lateritium-free `Jewel' plants. These unique amplified DNA fragments were consistent with those obtained from amplified DNA isolations of the F. lateritium isolate, 91-27-2, used for inoculation. We found that F. lateritium DNA successfully competes with sweetpotato DNA in the polymerase chain reaction for priming sites in a 3: 1 ratio of sweetpotato DNA to F. lateritium DNA. Our results indicate the importance of avoiding plant material infested with pathogens to avoid spurious marker bands.

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