DETECTION OF VIRUSES INFECTING BLACK PEPPER BY SYBR GREENBASED REALTIME PCR ASSAY
A.I. Bhat, A. Siljo
Virus infections are a major constraint to cultivation of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.), a perennial vegetatively propagated spice crop. Real-time PCR and real-time RT-PCR were developed to detect Piper yellow mottle virus (PYMoV) and Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), respectively, in black pepper plants. These detection assays were up to 1000 times more sensitive than the conventional PCR/RT-PCR assays. Field samples from different pepper-growing regions in India were used to validate the two detection assays, which identified more infected plants than conventional PCR. Our results indicate that real-time PCR should be the method of choice for screening mother plants for PYMoV and CMV.