Soft fruit pathogen testing for the UK certification scheme


Abstract: The James Hutton Institute is the sole UK source of Rubus and Ribes nuclear stockplant material for entry into the UK Plant Health Certification Scheme, which operates to ensurethat the Scottish and UK soft fruit industry has access to clean planting material for sustainablecropping.The nuclear stock mother plants are tested for a wide range of pathogens, with all testsadhering to both UK schemes and the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation(EPPO) guidelines. Such tests involve visual assessments for virus symptoms on foliage andfruit, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for raspberry bushy dwarf virus (RBDV),molecular diagnostic techniques for Phytophthora rubi and Phytophthora idaei, the oomycetesassociated with raspberry root rot disease, bioassays which use herbaceous virus-indicator testplants and graft inoculation to Rubus or Ribes virus indicators.To provide an effective certification scheme which adapts to changing disease pressures anew PCR diagnostic for the detection of Blackcurrant Reversion Virus (BRV) and an improveddiagnostic method for the detection of raspberry root rot are being investigated at The JamesHutton Institute.

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