Volume 17 Part 1 Article 83
Title: A TaqMan PCR Test for Timely Detection of the Causal Agents of Dry Bubble Disease
Authors: C. Zijlstra, M. de Weerdt, J. Baar and J. Baars
Worldwide, one of the most economically important diseases in white button mushroom cultivation is dry bubble disease, caused by the fungus Verticillium fungicola. In North America the disease is caused by V. fungicola var. aleophilum whereas in Europe mainly V. fungicola var. fungicola is responsible for the disease.
The pathogen enters the mushroom house with the casing, flies, dust, etc., and infects the developing fruiting bodies as they emerge. Infected mushrooms are unsaleable.
Dry bubble has been controlled through the use of cultural practices, sanitation and chemicals. However, mushroom growers can no longer exclusively rely on chemicals as a primary management tool. Hygiene is probably the major control mechanism and requires an accurate monitoring system. Currently the crop is monitored by visual inspection for the appearance of the first symptoms. Unfortunately detection at this stage is too late because the crop can no longer be cured. Therefore it is more important to identify presence of the pathogen before infection establishes.