DETECTION AND CHARACTERIZATION OF PLANT PATHOGENS
Traditionally, the detection and characterization of a plant pathogen has relied on isolation of the microorganism and observation of the symptoms it induces in susceptible host plants. This is a time-consuming process and even then often cannot reliably distinguish between closely related species and strains. Faster and more discriminating detection became possible with the characterization of proteins and nucleic acids from many microbes. Based on this information. antibodies or nucleic acid probes could be chosen that were capable of detecting all members of a species or only one strain. for example a pathogenic versus nonpathogenic strain.