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Virology Testing

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Viruses particles consist of nucleic acid enveloped in a protein coat. Viruses are broken into two categories based on this nucleic acid construct (RNA/DNA). Viroids are similar to viruses in that they consist of single circular strands of RNA however without a protein coat. Viruses and viroids contain no protein-synthesizing components and require a host cell (plant) for replication. Virus infection can result in reduced yield, quality of the crop and significant economic loss due to the need for control measures.

At Eurofins BioDiagnostics we detect viral pathogens using common serological methods (ELISA), nucleic acid-based testing (PCR), and via biological assays.

The commonly used method for detection of virus pathogens is Enzyme-link immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Seeds undergo a process to extract the viral antigen from the seed which is inside the embryo or on the seed coat. ELISA plates are prepared and the samples are evaluated based off of antibody/antigen reactions which results in a color change. Testing is undertaken using internationally recognized methods from the International Seed Federation, International Seed Testing Association, and National Seed Health System. Using the ELISA methodology allows for quality, repeatable results in a timely fashion on various species detecting various viruses. Confirmation of ELISA results can be confirmed with an infectivity assay by inoculation on various differential hosts or by PCR.

In seed-health testing, bioassay results will ensure that virus infections are transmitted from the seed to the plants. Seeds are sown and observed for symptomology.

Eurofins BioDiagnostics offers a wide range of virus testing using the following methods:

  • ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay)
  • Grow-out
  • Bioassay

We currently offer testing for over 40 specific viruses on a variety of different types of crops, with expansion into more virus testing in the future. 

Virology testing is available for: