We have developed two taxon-selective primers for quick identification of the Fusarium genus. These primers, ITS-Fu-f and ITS-Fu-r were designed by comparing the aligned sequences of internal transcribed spacer regions (ITS) of a range of Fusarium species. The primers showed good specificity for the genus Fusarium, and the approximately 389-bp product was amplified exclusively. PCR sensitivity ranged from 100 fg to 10 ng for DNA extracted from Fusarium oxysporum mycelium. No amplification products were detected with PCR of DNA from Rhizoctonia solani and Macrophomina phaseolina isolates using these primers. The assay is useful for rapid identification of Fusarium spp. cultures. The application of these PCR methods for early diagnosis of the seedling and wilt disease of cotton needs to be studied further.
(African Journal of Biotechnology: 2003 2(4): 82-85)