Open Access Highly Accessed Methodology article

Development of an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay applied to the Botrytis cinerea quantification in tissues of postharvest fruits

Martín A Fernández-Baldo, Jorge G Fernández, Sirley V Pereira, Germán A Messina, Eloy Salinas, Julio Raba and María I Sanz Ferramola*

Author Affiliations

INQUISAL, Departamento de Química. Universidad Nacional de San Luis, CONICET. Chacabuco 917. D5700BWS. San Luis, Argentina

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:220  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-220

Published: 4 October 2011



Botrytis cinerea is a phytopathogenic fungus responsible for the disease known as gray mold, which causes substantial losses of fruits at postharvest. This fungus is present often as latent infection and an apparently healthy fruit can deteriorate suddenly due to the development of this infection. For this reason, rapid and sensitive methods are necessary for its detection and quantification. This article describes the development of an indirect competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for quantification of B. cinerea in apple (Red Delicious), table grape (pink Moscatel), and pear (William's) tissues.


The method was based in the competition for the binding site of monoclonal antibodies between B. cinerea antigens present in fruit tissues and B. cinerea purified antigens immobilized by a crosslinking agent onto the surface of the microtiter plates. The method was validated considering parameters such as selectivity, linearity, precision, accuracy and sensibility. The calculated detection limit was 0.97 μg mL-1 B. cinerea antigens. The immobilized antigen was perfectly stable for at least 4 months assuring the reproducibility of the assay. The fungus was detected and quantified in any of the fruits tested when the rot was not visible yet. Results were compared with a DNA quantification method and these studies showed good correlation.


The developed method allowed detects the presence of B. cinerea in asymptomatic fruits and provides the advantages of low cost, easy operation, and short analysis time determination for its possible application in the phytosanitary programs of the fruit industry worldwide.