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Survey Methods for Assessment of Citrus Tristeza Virus Incidence

July 1998 , Volume 88 , Number  7
Pages  715 - 723

G. Hughes and T. R. Gottwald

First author: Institute of Ecology and Resource Management, University of Edinburgh, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, Scotland, United Kingdom; and second author: USDA Agricultural Research Service, Horticultural Research Laboratory, 2120 Camden Road, Orlando, FL 32803

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Accepted for publication 30 March 1998.

The assessment of citrus tristeza virus incidence by sampling involves laboratory testing by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of leaf material collected in the field. Using field data and computer simulation, methods of field data collection were compared. One method was similar to that used by the Central California Tristeza Eradication Agency, in which 4 to 6% of the trees in a planting block are sampled and material from each tree sampled is assayed separately. This method was compared with an alternative method in which about 25% of the trees in a block are sampled, and material from groups of four trees is bulked and assayed together. Our comparative study indicated that the latter method results in increased accuracy and precision of estimates of citrus tristeza virus incidence without increasing unduly the number of laboratory assays required.

Additional keywords: Aphis gossypii , cluster sampling , group testing , hierarchical sampling , spatial pattern , Toxoptera citricida .

The American Phytopathological Society, 1998