Development of an FTP-LAMP assay based on TaqMan real-time PCR and LAMP for the specific detection of Xylella fastidiosa De Donno and mulberry strains in both plants and insect vectors
We developed two real-time detection assays, TaqMan real-time PCR and LAMP, using primers and probe designed based on a sequence annotated to code for a Haemagglutinin-related protein (Hg) of Xylella fastidiosa (Xf), a gene uniquely present in the Italian olive (De Donno of olive) and American mulberry strains, for specific detection of the target Xf strains. These assays were validated with DNA samples extracted from Xf-infected plant samples and from two species of insect vectors (Philaenus spumarius, Ps; and Neophilaenus campestris, Nc). Both techniques were proven to be highly sensitive (100 fg of Xf-genomic DNA) and specific to the Italian De Donno and American mulberry strains of Xf. When our LAMP was utilized in a duplex manner by combining with previously published universal primers and probe for detection of all Xf-subspecies and strains, the duplex LAMP showed high versatility in the simultaneous detection and differentiation of the Italian De Donno and American mulberry stains form other subspecies/strains. Furthermore, the Hg gene-specific LAMP primers and TaqMan probe were exploited to develop a new approach; henceforth referred to as the Fluorescence of TaqMan Probe upon Dequenching - Loop mediated Isothermal Amplification (FTP-LAMP). In the FTP-LAMP, the Xf-Hg specific fluorophore-quenched probe was added to a standard LAMP reaction and fluoresces only when bound to its target, allowing for a sequence-specific detection of the Xf-Italian De Donno and American mulberry strains in a LAMP context. Our FTP-LAMP assay showed to be highly sensitive detecting down to 100 fg genomic DNA of Xf, when tested on Xf-genomic DNA extracted from infected plants, DAS-ELISA-crude saps and insect vectors. Furthermore, the assay showed high specificity (98.7% vs 89% for LAMP) when applied on DNA templates from insect vectors. With the addition of an extra target sequence-specific probe acting as a direct Xf-specific dye, the FTP-LAMP has gained more specificity and reduced one of the main problems of the LAMP assay (false positives) when used for detecting of Xf in insect vectors. To the best of our knowledge, this study reports the development of the first LAMP assay and the first novel FTP-LAMP method for specific detection of the Italian De Donno and the American mulberry strains of Xf. Together with the Xf universal LAMP primers in a duplex approach, the FTP-LAMP could represent a useful tool not only for the specific detection of the olive-associated strain in Italy, but also to differentiate the De Donno strain from other strains of Xf already reported in Italy and Europe (Germany, France, Spain and Portugal).