Detection of Diseases, Identification and Diversity of Viruses: A Review

Kumlachew Alemu


Plant viruses are known to cause considerable losses in crop yield, quality of plants and plant products around the world. They have great potential for inducing several economically important crop diseases as the fungal and bacterial plant pathogens, in spite of their extremely small size and elementary structure. They can infect whole plants, seeds and vegetatively propagated plant materials causing immense quantitative and qualitative losses. Hence, application of effective methods of detection, differentiation, quantification and identification has become necessary to prevent the incidence and spread of the diseases through infected plants and plant materials and through their natural vectors. To achieve this goal several methods based on the biological, physico-chemical, immunological and nucleic acid characteristics of these pathogens have been employed with different levels of sensitivity, specificity and reliability. To date an increasing numbers of diagnostic laboratories are adapting molecular methods for routine detection of pathogens. With the advances in molecular biology and biosystematics, the techniques available have evolved significantly in the last decade, and besides conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) other technologically advanced methodologies such as the second generation PCR known as the real time PCR and microarrays which allows unlimited multiplexing capability have the potential to bring pathogen detection to a new and improved level of efficiency and reliability. However, these  diagnostic tools should be complemented with other techniques, either traditional culture-based methods or the newly emerged proteomic, a promising tool for providing information about pathogenicity and virulence factors that will open up new possibilities for crop disease diagnosis and crop protection.

Keywords: Detection, Diagnostic tool, Pathogen, Proteomic, Virus


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