Viruses are important constraints to the movement and propagation of plant germplasm, especially for vegetatively propagated crops such as banana and plantain. Their control relies primarily on the use of virus-free plant material, whose production and certification requires sensitive and reliable detection methods. An existing polyvalent degenerate oligonucleotide RT-PCR (PDO-RT-PCR) assay was adapted to the detection of Banana mild mosaic virus (BanMMV) and Banana virus X, two Flexiviridae infecting Musa spp. PDO inosine-containing primers were found to be well suited to the detection of BanMMV, despite its high molecular diversity, but not to that of the highly conserved BVX, for which species-specific primers were designed. Sampling and sample processing steps were optimized in order to avoid nucleic acid purification prior to the reverse transcription step. A polyclonal anti-BanMMV antiserum was raised and successfully used for the immunocapture (IC) of BanMMV viral particles from leaf extracts, leading to the development of a PDO-IC-RT-nested PCR assay. Although the anti-BanMMV antiserum could to some extent recognize BVX viral particles, direct binding (DB) was shown to be a more efficient method for processing BVX-infected samples and a PDO-DB-RT-nested PCR assay was developed for the detection of BVX from leaf extracts.
- Banana mild mosaic virus
- Banana virus X
- Polyvalent degenerate oligonucleotide