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POSTERS: Pathogen detection, quantification and diagnosis

Rose rosette virus detection methodology: Is asymptomatic detection possible?
Madalyn Shires - Texas A&M University. Jake Ueckert- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Kevin Ong- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, David Byrne- Texas A&M University

As Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) continues to cause issues for rose producers, growers, and enthusiasts, the question has been posed whether early/asymptomatic detection is possible. RRD is a viral disease caused by the Rose rosette virus (RRV), which is vectored by a species of eriophyid mite. Plants have been documented to take upwards of two years to display symptoms after being exposed to RRD, potentially allowing for the plant to serve as an asymptomatic disease reservoir for continued spread by the mite vector. Therefore, effective and sensitive detection tests are needed to enable early removal of infected plants. Our experiment focused on approximately 500 samples of RRV from symptomatic, asymptomatic, and clean plants. It was found that the use of primer set RRV (Di Bello et al. 2018), allowed for effective asymptomatic detection compared to all other RRV primers. This RT-PCR primer set targets the third segment of RRV’s seven segmented genome. While primer set RRV was comparable to other primers (RT-PCR and qPCR) for symptomatic plants, it was more effective at detecting asymptomatic, PCR positive plants than other published primers. Results were verified through Sanger sequencing, with 96-99% sequence identity to RRV. Identification of asymptomatic, RRV infected plants will enable the early removal of diseased plants and reduce potential spread. Asymptomatic detection testing can also allow producers to screen plants from any RRV infected fields, determine the infection status, and reduce the amount of asymptomatic RRV positive plants being sold to consumers.