Viroids are plant pathogens infecting a broad range of herbaceous and tree crops. Among them, the Peach latent mosaic viroid (PLMVd) infects mainly peach trees, causing a loss of production with no curative options. Detecting this viroid is thus important for certification procedures aiming to avoid the release of infected material into orchards. Presented here is a complete detection method based on reverse transcription (RT) followed by a quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR). New primers were selected and optimal reaction conditions determined for routine application of the method. The technique is 105 times more sensitive than the endpoint RT-PCR used for PLMVd detection, and permits earlier detection of PLMVd in infected plants. The quick, low-cost extraction procedure used and the quality of the results obtained make this method suitable for routine testing.
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