Nanosensor for early detection of GanodermaBoninense and soil quality for control of the related disease

A novel method for rapid detection of GanodermaBoninense, oil palm pathogen

Summary

G. boninense causes both basal stem rot (BSR)and upper stem rot (USR) andremains South East Asia’s most devastating oil palm diseases with direct loss of the stand,reduced yield of diseased palms and the resultant requirement for earlier replanting. Although it has been clearly identified as the main cause of the disease in oil palms, strategies for the early detection and control of G. boninense are still immature.

We will focus on study of specific markers for detection of G. boninense based on secondarymetabolites, elicitors and protein express upon infection. Phytoalexins are antifungalsecondary metabolites which serve as early defense mechanism by plants upon fungalattack. It is only produced by plants during interaction with fungal pathogen where rapidaccumulation of these compounds occurs at the site of infection to prevent further spread.Several secondary metabolites including alkaloids and phytosterols as potential phytoalexinshave been identified from our earlier research on metabolites produced at early stage of oilpalm-G. boninense interaction before occurence of disease symptoms. The most recentreport showed production of phytoalexins in systemic tissue away from the site of pathogeninfection possibly in response to signalling molecules such as reactive oxygen speciesproduced by plants upon fungal invasion. Here we propose to develop an early detection ofG. boninense infection of oil palm through application of nano biosensor based on phytoalexinproduction by oil palm. The nano biosensor can either directly detect the volatile phytoalexinmolecules or indirectly using antibody that bind specifically to key enzymes involved in thebiosynthesis of the phytoalexins.