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Improved diagnostic tools for the certification of strawberry propagation material

Contract nr: QLK5-CT-1999-01553
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date: 01-02-2000
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 1,073,071 EUR
EC Contribution: 724,996 EUR
Scientific Officer: Richard HARDWICK
Research topic: 5.1.1. Sustainable agriculture/Plant Systems

Abstract:
Viruses form a major threat to the strawberry industry, causing severe economic losses. Rapid and simple methods for the detection of the major aphid-borne strawberry viruses are absent due to problems with the purification of these viruses from plant material. Control of the quarantine viruses is difficult and relies completely on the use of virus-free planting material. Methods based on the detection of viral nucleic acid offer an alternative for the expensive and time-consuming biological indexing procedures currently used. The objectives of this project proposal are the development of rapid, robust, sensitive and standardised methods for the detection of the major viruses infecting strawberry by the certification and quarantine services within the EU and in the CEEC.

Objectives:
Viruses form a serious threat to the strawberry industry, causing major losses. Control depends on eliminating viruses by meristem culture and rigorous certification programmes to maintain clean planting stock. However, most aphid-borne strawberry viruses can only be detected by time-consuming (up to three months) biological indexing procedures introduced over 40 years ago, e.g. grafting to sensitive indicator plants. These viruses include the causal agents of quarantine diseases of major economic importance like crinkle, mottle, vein banding, and mild yellow-edge disease. This project aims to develop cost-effective, standardised methods for the rapid, reliable and sensitive detection of the major viruses and to implement these protocols in screening procedures. The methods will be evaluated and optimised for routine large-scale testing. Draft-suggested guidelines will be drawn up and communicated to EPPO.


Coordinator
Ben VOSMAN
Plant Research International B.V.
Wageningen
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 317476980
Fax: +31 317418094
E-mail: b.vosman@plant.wag-ur.nl


Partners
  Josef SPAK
Institute of Plant Molecular Biology, Academyt of Sciences of the Czech Republic
Ceske Budejovice
CZECH REPUBLIC
Tel.: +420 3 8777 5546
Fax: +420 3 8530 0356
E-mail: spak@umbr.cas.cz
  Wilhelm JELKMANN
Biologische Bundesanstalt für Land- und Forstwirtschaft
Dossenheim
GERMANY
Tel.: +49 6221 8680520
Fax: +49 6221 8680515
E-mail: wilhelm.jelkmann@urz.uni-heidelberg.de
  Ana Rosa BABINI
Centro Attivita' Vivaistiche
Faenza - RA
ITALY
Tel.: +39 054647150
Fax: +39 054632355
E-mail: cav@mbox.dinamica.it
  Renata KARESOVA
Research and Breeding Institute of Pomology Holovousy LTD
Horice
CZECH REPUBLIC
Tel.: +420 4 3569 2821
Fax: +420 4 3569 2833
E-mail: vsuohl@vsuo.cz
  Mirka CIESLINSKA
Institute of Pomology and Floriculture
Skierniewice
POLAND
Tel.: +48 46 8332021
Fax: +48 46 8333228
E-mail: MCieslin@insad.isk.skierniewice.pl