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Detection of Begomoviruses in Clarified Plant Extracts: A Comparison of Standard, Direct-Binding, and Immunocapture Polymerase Chain Reaction Techniques

September 2003 , Volume 93 , Number  9
Pages  1,153 - 1,157

S. N. Rampersad and P. Umaharan

Department of Life Sciences, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

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Accepted for publication 14 April 2003.

Three polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques—standard PCR (Std-PCR), direct-binding PCR (DB-PCR), and immunocapture PCR (IC-PCR)—using degenerate primers were optimized and evaluated for the detection of begomoviruses. Tomato leaf samples were ground in three different extraction buffers and subjected to Std-PCR. The effect of the buffers on the detection limits of amplification of the virus (detection of the initial and end points of dilution) was determined. With the optimal extraction buffer determined by the first experiment, the antibody concentration and incubation conditions for IC-PCR were evaluated to determine the requirements for maximum capture of antigens during the capture phase of the technique. The incubation conditions of DB-PCR were also investigated to determine the most favorable conditions for adsorption of the viral template. The reproducibility of all assays was evaluated. With the results of the optimization experiments, the applicability of the three techniques to different plant species was assessed. Extracts of plant species belonging to three families were subjected to the optimized Std-, DB-, and IC-PCR protocols. Std- and IC-PCR both achieved reproducible detection of begomoviruses, but the detection limits and amplified band intensity for all plant species tested were superior for the latter. DB-PCR was an unreliable method of detection, because of poor reproducibility and low intensity of amplified bands. These results indicate that the optimized IC-PCR detection system using degenerate primers is the most effective for the detection of begomoviruses in clarified plant extracts.

Additional keywords: antigen-capture polymerase chain reaction, diagnosis, tube-capture polymerase chain reaction.

© 2003 The American Phytopathological Society