First, third, and seventh authors: Departamento de Mejora y Patología Vegetal, CEBAS-CSIC, Apdo. Correos 4195, Murcia 30080 Spain; first, fifth, and sixth authors: Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo, Via Ceglie 9, 70010 Valenzano, Bari, Italy; and fourth author: Instituto de Biología Molecular y Celular de Plantas, Universidad Politecnica de Valencia-CSIC, Avenida de los Naranjos s/n, 46022 Valencia Spain
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Accepted for publication 24 August 2000.
The three most economically damaging ilarviruses affecting stone fruit trees on a worldwide scale are the related Prunus necrotic ringspot virus (PNRSV), Prune dwarf virus (PDV), and Apple mosaic virus (ApMV). Nonisotopic molecular hybridization and multiplex reverse-transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) methodologies were developed that could detect all these viruses simultaneously. The latter technique was advantageous because it was discriminatory. For RT-PCR, a degenerate antisense primer was designed which was used in conjunction with three virus-specific sense primers. The amplification efficiencies for the detection of the three viruses in the multiplex RT-PCR reaction were identical to those obtained in the single RT-PCR reactions for individual viruses. This cocktail of primers was able to amplify sequences from all of the PNRSV, ApMV, and PDV isolates tested in five Prunus spp. hosts (almond, apricot, cherry, peach, and plum) occurring naturally in single or multiple infections. For ApMV isolates, differences in the electrophoretic mobilities of the PCR products were observed. The nucleotide sequence of the amplified products of two representative ApMV isolates was determined, and comparative analysis revealed the existence of a 28-nucleotide deletion in the sequence of isolates showing the faster electrophoretic mobility. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the simultaneous detection of three plant viruses by multiplex RT-PCR in woody hosts. This multiplex RT-PCR could be a useful time and cost saving method for indexing these three ilarviruses, which damage stone fruit tree yields, and for the analysis of mother plants in certification programs.
© 2000 The American Phytopathological Society