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R255 Tobacco Rattle Virus (TRV) Mapping

Publication Date: 
16 August 2011
Author/Contact :
Finlay Dale

Contractor :
James Hutton Institute (JHI) (formerly SCRI)

Full Research Project Title: Improvement of a diagnostic test to allow more precise localisation of Tobacco Rattle Virus in fields
Duration: April 2004 - April 2006

Aim: To examine the potential to develop a rapid assay for the presence of TRV using a sensitive PCR-based method applied to the roots of weeds or crop plants.

Existing methods of predicting the occurrence of TRV rely either on counts of trichodorid nematodes, which do not necessarily correlate with the presence of the virus, as the nematodes may not be viruliferous, or on various bait test systems.

A sensitive PCR-based method was used to map the occurrence of virus in the roots of weeds in fields prior to potato cropping (2004). Spraing susceptible potatoes were then used to assess the predictive ability of the test (2005). 

TRV was successfully identified in weeds at the sites studied. Risk areas, where high levels of virus were detected in 2004, were correlated with high levels of spraing in 2005. However, in areas with low levels of virus infection there was a weaker relationship between the test results and the levels of spraing that developed in 2005. It was concluded that the assay offered benefits compared to some existing methods, but that in areas with low level virus infection environmental factors, that influence nematode feeding/virus transmission, may have a disproportionate influence on the occurrence of spraing.

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