Laboratory diagnostics of common bunt and dwarf bunt.
Fungal pathogens belonging to the genus Tilletia infect young seedlings of cereals (wheat, barley, rye, triticale), transform their grains into sori filled with teliospores, degrade harvest quality index and cause as much as 95% loss of yield. Until full maturity there are no concrete visible symptoms on the plant, except for light yellow spots and more shoot production. There are three possibilities how to detect Tilletia spp. in plant tissue, viz. using vital dye for mycelium staining, polymerase chain reaction, and dot blot hybridization. This paper presents the two methods developed, i.e. PCR and western blotting, to detect and differentiate between the most important and most harmful seedborne pathogens in wheat, namely stinking smut of wheat (T. carries [T. tritici]), dwarf bunt of wheat (T. controversa), and the quarantine organism karnal bunt (T. indica).