Meloidogyne minor is a small root-knot nematode that causes yellow patch disease in golf courses and severe quality damage in potatoes. It was described in 2004 and has been detected in The Netherlands, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland and Belgium. The nematode often appears together with M. naasi on grasses. It causes similar symptoms on potato tubers as M. chitwoodi and M. fallax, which are both quarantine organisms in Europe. An accurate identification method therefore is required. This study describes a real-time PCR assay that enables the identification of M. minor after extraction of nematodes from soil or plant samples. Alignments of sequences of rDNA-ITS fragments of M. minor and five other Meloidogyne species were used to design a forward primer Mminor_f299, a specific primer Mminor_r362 and the specific MGB TaqMan probe P_Mm_MGB321. PCR with this primers and probe results in an amplicon of 64 bp. The analytical specificity of the real-time PCR assay was assessed by assaying it on six populations of M. minor and on 10 populations of six other Meloidogyne species. Only DNA from M. minor gave positive results in this assay. The assay was able to identify M. minor using DNA from a single juvenile independent from the DNA extraction method used
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