Plant Science


Protocols in Current Issue
Protocols in Past Issues
0 Q&A 442 Views Oct 20, 2023

Strawberries are delicious and nutritious fruits that are widely cultivated and consumed around the world, either fresh or in various products such as jam, juice, and ice cream. Botrytis cinerea is a fungal pathogen that causes gray mold disease on many crops, including strawberries. Disease monitoring is an important aspect for growing commercial crops like strawberry because there is an urgent need to develop effective strategies to control this destructive gray mold disease. In this protocol, we provide an important tool to monitor the gray mold fungal infection progression in different developmental stages of strawberry. There are different types of inoculation assays for B. cinerea on strawberry plants, such as in vitro (in/on a culture medium) or in vivo (in a living plant). In vivo inoculation assays can be performed at early, middle, and late stages of strawberry development. Here, we describe three methods for in vivo inoculation assays of B. cinerea on strawberry plants. For early-stage strawberry plants, we modified the traditional fungal disc inoculation method to apply to fungal infection on strawberry leaves. For middle-stage strawberry plants, we developed the flower infection assay by dropping fungal conidia onto flowers. For late-stage strawberry plants, we tracked the survival rate of strawberry fruits after fungal conidia infection. This protocol has been successfully used in both lab and greenhouse conditions. It can be applied to other flowering plants or non-model species with appropriate modifications.

Key features

• Fungal disc inoculation on early-stage strawberry leaves.

• Fungal conidia inoculation on middle-stage strawberry flowers.

• Disease rating for late-stage strawberry fruits.

• This protocol is applicable to the other flowering plants with appropriate modifications.

Graphical overview

In vivo infection progression assays of gray mold fungus Botrytis cinerea at different developmental stages of strawberry. Created with

0 Q&A 5411 Views Feb 20, 2021

Phytophthora infestans is a hemibiotroph oomycete that primarily infects potato and tomato. It infects stems, leaves, and tubers and fruits of potato and tomato. High throughput and reproducible infection assays are prerequisites to find sources of resistance in any crop. In this protocol, we describe a detached leaf assay (DLA) for conducting the virulence assay of P. infestans in potato leaves. A late blight infection assay using a potato detached leaf is a semi-high throughput assay in which hundreds of plants can be screened in a laboratory setting.

0 Q&A 5007 Views Oct 20, 2018
Virus inoculation is a basic experimental procedure to evaluate the resistance of a rice variety or a transgenic material upon virus infection. We recently demonstrated that Rice Ragged Stunt Virus (RRSV), an oryzavirus that is transmitted by brown planthopper (BPH), can suppress jasmonic acid-mediated antiviral defense through the induction of microRNA319 and facilitate virus infection in rice. To verify this, we performed virus inoculation experiments on wild-type rice plants and miR319-TCP21-associated transgenic rice plants through a modified group inoculation method. Here, we presented the detailed procedure of RRSV propagation and infection process on rice plants.
0 Q&A 7393 Views Aug 5, 2018
Fusarium graminearum, the major causal agent of Fusarium head blight (FHB), causes serious wheat yield losses and a threat to human and animal health. The main efforts to combat the disease are the research of pathogenesis mechanisms and breeding for disease resistance plants. The efficiency of these actions could be evaluated by reliable inoculation assay, which is performed by accurate and repeatable inoculation methods. Hence, a standard procedure of effective wheat inoculation should improve the accuracy of pathogenicity evaluation. Here, we present a protocol for wheat spike inoculation with fungal conidial suspensions or fungus agar discs. These methods show highly reproducibility and accuracy on wheat infection experiment in laboratory conditions.
0 Q&A 6731 Views Jun 5, 2018
Rice yellow mottle virus (RYMV), a mechanically transmitted virus that causes serious damage to cultivated rice plants, is endemic to Africa. Varietal selection for resistance is considered to be the most effective and sustainable management strategy. Standardized resistance evaluation procedures are required for the identification and characterization of resistance sources. This paper describes a protocol for mechanical inoculation of rice seedlings with RYMV and two methods of resistance evaluation – one based on a symptom severity index and the other on virus detection through double antibody sandwich-enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (DAS-ELISA).
0 Q&A 12237 Views Apr 20, 2018
Botrytis cinerea (B. cinerea) attacks many crops of economic importance, represents one of the most extensively studied necrotrophic pathogens. Inoculation of B. cinerea and phenotypic analysis of plant resistance are key procedures to investigate the mechanism of plant immunity. Here we describe a protocol for B. cinerea inoculation on medium and planta based on our study using the tomato-B. cinerea system.
0 Q&A 7903 Views Mar 5, 2018
Field-grown maize is inoculated with Cochliobolus heterostrophus, causal agent of southern leaf blight disease, by dropping sorghum grains infested with the fungus into the whorl of each maize plant at an early stage of growth. The initial lesions produce secondary inoculum that is dispersed by wind and rain, causing multiple cycles of infection that assures a high uniform disease pressure over the entire field by the time of disease scoring, which occurs after anthesis. This method, with slight modifications, can also be used to study the maize fungal diseases northern leaf blight (caused by Exserohilum turcicum) and gray leaf spot (Cercospora zeae-maydis).
3 Q&A 21478 Views Mar 5, 2018
We describe a protocol to measure the electrolyte leakage from plant tissues, resulting from loss of cell membrane integrity, which is a common definition of cell death. This simple protocol is designed to measure the electrolyte leakage from a tissue sample over a time course, so that the extent of cell death in the tissue can be monitored dynamically. In addition, it is easy to handle many tissue samples in parallel, which allows a high level of biological replication. Although the protocol is exemplified by cell death in Arabidopsis in response to pathogen challenge, it is easily applicable to other types of plant cell death.
1 Q&A 15793 Views Oct 5, 2017
Bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is one of the most serious bacterial diseases and a major impediment to the increase of rice yield. Appropriate methods for inoculation of Xoo and disease scoring are necessary to investigate the nature of the disease and the mechanism of plant resistance to the pathogen. As the most-widely grown crop in the worldwide, rice yield plays an important role in food security. Uncovering mechanisms of plant-pathogen interaction of rice and Xoo will help develop rice plants that are more resistant to disease caused by Xoo. Here we describe our validated and efficient methods for inoculation of Xoo and disease scoring.
0 Q&A 10164 Views Aug 5, 2017
The ascomycete fungus Fusarium graminearum is a destructive fungal pathogen of wheat, barley and maize. Although reverse genetics and homologous recombination gene deletion methods have generated thousands of gene deletion mutants of F. graminearum, evaluating virulence of these fungal mutants is still a rate-limiting step. Here we present a protocol for inoculation of wheat coleoptiles with conidial suspensions for large-scale phenotypic analysis, and describe how it can also be used to assess fungal infectious growth and symptom developmentat a cellular scale. The inoculation method described in this protocol provides highly reproducible results in wheat coleoptile infection by F. graminearum.

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