The benefits of testing the DNA of your irrigation source

23-09-2021    12:18   |    Greenhouse Grower

If you’re testing your water, it’s likely because you either have an undiagnosed disease problem in your greenhouse already, or you want to head off any issues that could be caused from your cistern, roof water, or water lines. Even with disease symptoms present, it can be difficult to nail down which pathogen is the culprit (and which fungicide will work), without a DNA test.

Note: This is a recap of the fourth article in a series about water sanitation from OnFloriculture. The goal of the series is to help growers understand their greenhouse irrigation systems before they are faced with a problem. The first post covered where problems are likely to occur in the greenhouse, the second covered the types of pathogens found in water, and the third covered where and how to sample water. Learn more here.

Overall, DNA tests are the gold standard, for many reasons:

DNA doesn’t lie. It’s surprising how much symptoms from one disease look like another sometimes; even an expert with years of experience can make a mistake when it comes to diagnostics from just signs and symptoms. Especially diseases that cause root rots. With DNA tests, you can be sure.

They can screen for multiple pathogens. One of the DNA tests available, the DNA multiscan, does just that – scan for multiple pests at one time. This test can point towards a disease issue you might not have even considered. You can choose to look specifically for fungi or bacteria or both.

Multiple samples can determine where a problem is coming from. If you take samples from multiple points along your water system, and disease issues are only detected in one area (e.g. a secondary holding tank), or are especially high in one area, this can narrow down the source of the problem. This can potentially save you thousands of dollars in crop losses and unnecessary fungicide application by eliminating recurring disease issues at the source.

Continue reading for more information, including how to analyze  DNA test, at here.

Photo: Sampling from all points along your water system – from your pond to your misting lines – can help narrow down sources of contamination in your greenhouse using DNA tests. Credit: OnFloriculture.
Source: Greenhouse Grower

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