U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 1636 East Alisal Street, Salinas, CA 93905
A polyclonal antiserum prepared against purified virions of tomato infectious chlorosis virus (TICV) was used to evaluate serological tests for its detection, to determine its distribution in infected plants, to study relationships among isolates of this virus, and to detect it in field samples. A cRNA probe representing TICV RNA 1 and RNA 2 was used in dot blot hybridization tests. A reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay was also developed for detection of TICV isolates. The comparative study of these four techniques indicated that RT-PCR was 100-fold more sensitive than enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), Western blot, and dot blot hybridization assays for TICV detection. TICV was detected in leaf, stem, flower, and root tissues of the infected tomato plants. However, the virus was not uniformly distributed throughout the infected tomato plants, and the highest viral concentration was observed in fully developed young tomato leaves at the onset of yellowing symptoms. The virus was detected by indirect ELISA, Western blot, dot blot hybridization, and RT-PCR assays in laboratory-infected tomato, tomatillo, potato, and Nicotiana clevelandii and in naturally infected tomato, petunia, and Ranunculus sp. plants obtained from commercial sources. These tests indicate that there are apparently no detectable serological or nucleic acid differences among four TICV isolates obtained from Orange and Yolo Counties of California or from North Carolina or Italy.