, Volume 111, Issue 1, pp 77-84

Simultaneous detection and identification of eight stone fruit viruses by one-step RT-PCR

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A sensitive and reliable one step RT-PCR reaction with an internal control has been developed to detect and differentiate eight important viruses that affect stone fruit tress: Apple mosaic virus (ApMV), Prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV), Prune dwarf virus (PDV), American plum line pattern virus (APLPV), Plum pox virus (PPV), Apple chlorotic leaf spot virus (ACLSV), Apricot latent virus (ApLV) and Plum bark necrosis stem pitting associated virus (PBNSPaV). In addition, we investigated the detection limit and the efficiency of three different nucleic acid extraction methods that avoid the use of organic solvents, for both multiplex RT-PCR and dot-blot hybridisation assays. The primer cocktail was used to analyse 38 stone fruits originating from nine different countries and six species. A large number of virus combinations was detected and up to three different viruses were observed in five samples. A decrease in sensitivity was observed when the primer cocktail contained more than five different pair primers. However, comparative analyses showed that the multiplex RT-PCR containing the eight virus pair primers was even more sensitive than the ELISA or molecular hybridisation assays. The use of the multiplex RT-PCR technology in routine diagnosis of stone fruit tree viruses is discussed.