Biotech Updates

Detection of Causal Organism of Bacterial Disease of Onion

February 18, 2011

A PCR based method of detecting Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. allii, the causal organism of bacterial disease of onion was recently developed by the French Center for Agricultural Research for Developing Countries (CIRAD). The disease affects onions, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots through the formation of lesions on the aerial tissues of the plant causing the plants to wither. The disease can cause shrinking of bulbs resulting to a yield loss of 10 to 50%.

The CIRAD diagnostic test was found to be three times more sensitive than conventional methods since double PCR can already be conducted from the isolated seed DNA. The test is planned to be used as a European reference method for the disease which affects the south-west Indian Ocean, the island of Reunion and Mauritius.

The news release In French is available at