ASSESSING SEED, OTHER PROPAGATION MATERIALS AND FIELD SAMPLES FOR THE PRESENCE OF ANY VIRUS
An early, quick and reliable diagnosis is essential for an adequate control of any disease and for the reduction of economic losses. Trade globalization and the effects of climate change increase the movement of viruses and their vectors making detection of plant viruses ever more important to maximize productivity and ensure agricultural sustainability by minimizing damage during crops growth, harvest and postharvest processing.
Viruses, unlike bacteria or fungi, cannot be cultivated as pure cultures on artificial media, which makes their identification challenging. Traditional detection methods such as ELISA, PCR or microarray, designed for the identification of specific viruses or virus families fail to catch the presence of unknown viruses or unexpected combinations. In addition, due to fast mutation rate, host specificity or low abundance viruses frequently pass undetected when using targeted approaches. What is more, viruses can cause novel disease symptoms, can be part of a virus complex or can be present without showing any symptoms creating additional biases.
Next-generation sequencing: an established method for virus detection
A robust diagnostic procedure to produce healthy planting material
We use next-generation sequencing of RNA from plants to detect, identify and quantify all known, as well as novel viruses, in one step with. This non-targeted approach is proven to be reliable and sensitive for detecting putative infectious agents associated with plant tissues able to clutch viral transcripts at extremely low frequencies. Additionally, the method captures all viral sequences independently on their variation from the reference strains.