, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 373-381

Improved efficiency of detection of potato mop-top furovirus in potato tubers and in the roots and leaves of soil-bait plants

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A reverse trancription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was devised and shown to be sensitive and reliable for the detection of potato mop-top virus (PMTV) RNA sequences in the flesh of virus infected potato tubers, and in the roots and leaves of soil-bait plants. This assay was compared with an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay incorporating PMTV specific monoclonal antibodies (TAS-ELISA). The tests were devised to improve the efficiency of detection of viruliferousSpongospora subterranea in agricultural soils, and PMTV in potato tubers. RT-PCR detected PMTV RNA sequences in the roots and leaves of bait plants after three weeks growth in viruliferous soil, three weeks before the bait plants themselves developed symptoms, and two weeks before the virus was detected by TAS-ELISA. Both RT-PCR and TAS-ELISA detected PMTV in the tubers of primary-infected potatoes. RT-PCR and TAS-ELISA were shown to be more sensitive and reliable than conventional baittests and sap inoculation methods for the detection and diagnosis of PMTV.