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LABORATORY PROCEDURES FOR PLANT CELL VIRUSES

REFERENCE NO.: PVC/1998/3.03


TITLE: VIRUS MAINTENANCE IN SITU


INTRODUCTION

Plant viruses that loose infectivity upon conservation, that are not easily mechanical or vector transmissible or, for other reasons, can not be conserved as freeze-dried infected plant material or in liquid nitrogen must be maintained in living plants. These are mostly virus infecting perennial plants e.g. fruit trees and shrubs. However, with all in situ preserved materials, it is extremely difficult to perform a monitoring of the virus infection and an authentication often is not feasible. Therefore all materials distributed as sample of a virus infected perennial plant are labelled as such. For verification of virus presence in the plants, a leaf dip assay and electron microscopical examination (PVC/1998/2.0 Appendix 6) or, an ELISA test using specific antibodies for virus detection and identification is performed (PVC/1998/2.04 Appendix 2). Unless found in EM, a statement to other viruses in the sample is not made, however, the assay performed is added to the data sheet protocol in the database.

PROCEDURE

For in situ maintenance of viruses in living plants, a good plant management consisting of thorough examintation of the plant growth, plant nutrition and plant protection, has to be followed. Due to the usually long growth period - multiple years - the phytosanitary status of the plants needs to be examined continuously in the greenhouse or under field conditions.


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