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Comparison between high throughput sequencing and current protocol for virus detection in berry crops

Dan Edward Villamor: University of Arkansas

<div>A combination of biological indexing, serological and molecular assays is the current standard for virus detection in berry fruit crops (<em>Fragaria</em>, <em>Rubus</em> and <em>Vaccinium</em>, spp.). This panel of assays had been reliable in ensuring the production and release of virus tested propagation materials for these specialty crops. In recent years, high throughput sequencing (HTS) has gained wide acceptance for use in virus detection. Here, we compared HTS and the standard protocols for virus detection on 32 berry accessions (12 <em>Fragaria</em>, 10 <em>Rubus</em> and 10 <em>Vaccinium</em>). HTS gave better results than the alternative assays because it was able to detect new viruses with a lower overall cost. These results not only confirm the efficacy of HTS for virus detection but also further suggest its use to augment or possibly replace the current virus detection protocols for berry crops.</div>