IMPROVED DETECTION OF ILARVIRUSES AND NEPOVIRUSES AFFECTING FRUIT TREES USING QUANTITATIVE RTqPCR
F. Osman, M. Al Rwahnih, A. Rowhani
Reverse transcription quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) assays were developed for the detection of the ilarviruses Prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV), Prune dwarf virus (PDV), Apple mosaic virus (ApMV), and American plum line pattern virus (APLPV), and the nepoviruses Tomato ringspot virus (ToRSV) and Cherry leafroll virus (CLRV). These viruses affect various stone fruits such as apricots, cherries, peaches, plums, and almonds. The goal of this work was to improve the RT-qPCR detection of PNRSV, PDV, and ApMV in addition to developing three new RT-qPCR assays for the detection of APLPV, ToRSV and CLRV. Primers for conventional RT-PCR as well as primers and probes for RT-qPCR assays were designed after aligning coat protein (CP) gene sequences of geographically diverse isolates with the corresponding CP gene sequences from GenBank, targeting regions with 100% sequence identity. The efficiency of each RT-qPCR assay, as well as the intra- and inter-assay variability, were determined. These conventional RT-PCR and RT-qPCR assays were validated using purified total RNAs from 221 trees from the USDA Clonal Germplasm Repository orchards. The data showed that more isolates were detected by RT-qPCR than by RT-PCR.