RT-PCR and Real-Time RT-PCR methods for the detection of Potato virus Y in potato leaves and tubers.

MacKenzie, T.D.B., Nie, X., and Singh, M. (2015). "RT-PCR and Real-Time RT-PCR methods for the detection of Potato virus Y in potato leaves and tubers.", Methods in Molecular Biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1236, pp. 13-26. doi : 10.1007/978-1-4939-1743-3_2  Access to full text


Potato virus Y (PVY) is a major threat to potato crops around the world. It is an RNA virus of the family Potyviridae, exhibiting many different strains that cause a range of symptoms in potato. ELISAdetection of viral proteins has traditionally been used to quantify virus incidence in a crop or seed lot.ELISA, however, cannot reliably detect the virus directly in dormant tubers, requiring several weeks of sprouting tubers to produce detectable levels of virus. Nor can ELISA fully discriminate between the wide range of strains of the virus. Several techniques for directly detecting the viral RNA have been developed which allow rapid detection of PVY in leaf or tuber tissue, and that can be used to easily distinguish between different strains of the virus. Described in this chapter are several protocols for the extraction of RNA from leaf and tuber tissues, and three detection methods based upon reverse-transcription-PCR (RT-PCR). First described is a traditional two-step protocol with separate reverse transcription of viral RNA into cDNA, then PCR to amplify the viral cDNA fragment. Second described is a one-step RT-PCR protocol combining the cDNA production and PCR in one tube and one step, which greatly reduces material and labor costs for PVY detection. The third protocol is a real-time RT-PCR procedure which not only saves on labor but also allows for more precise quantification of PVY titre. The three protocols are described in detail, and accompanied with a discussion of their relative advantages, costs, and possibilities for cost-saving modifications. While these techniques have primarily been developed for large-scale screening of many samples for determining viral incidence in commercial fields or seed lots, they are also amenable to use in smaller-scale research applications.

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