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Virus-tested plant material in Colombia – An appeal for a certification program for important exports

Joseph Cutler: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Phytomedicine Division

<div>The competitiveness of Colombian agriculture in international markets depends on the use of healthy domestic plant material and therefore, virus-free certification can improve quantity and quality of yields and contribute to better trade policy decision-making. The goal of this research is to develop a pilot protocol for routine diagnosis that can be applied in a certification program for virus-tested plant material for several Colombian horticultural products. Three important exports from Colombia have been chosen as model plants for experimentation: ornamental rose (<em>Rosa sp</em>.), cape gooseberry (<em>Physalis peruviana </em>L.), and purple passion fruit (<em>Passiflora edulis </em>Sims). Tests for routine detection of plant viruses affecting these cultivars are being developed based on an inventory of known and novel viruses detected in large and small representative farms in 2016-17. First results of known and novel viruses detected in rose, cape gooseberry and purple passionfruit, respectively by ELISA, RT-PCR and high-throughput sequencing techniques are presented and discussed.</div>