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Virus Ring Test

Freedom from viruses is a critical component in the safe exchange of banana germplasm. Material entering the Bioversity International Musa Transit Centre (ITC) is routinely indexed for viruses by collaborating laboratories using a standard protocol including IC-PCR, electron microscopy and symptom observation. These and other assays are described in, the 3rd edition of the “Technical guidelines for the safe movement of Musa germplasm” recently published by Bioversity International (http://www.musalit.org/seeMore.php?id=15942).

To check the efficiency of testing methods and address aspects that need attention, the MusaNet Conservation Thematic Group (CTG) is facilitating a virus ring test on banana virus detection at participating national laboratories. The test is coordinated by Kathy Crew (Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries) and John Thomas (The University of Queensland). Participants (see list below) were invited to test the routine assays used by Bioversity International, or alternative assays of their choice.

The objectives of the virus ring test are twofold. Firstly, to strengthen the capacity of national institutes to test their material for viruses and secondly, to increase efficiencies by enabling these institutes to carry out their own indexing before sending their material to the ITC for safety duplication and cryopreservation.

The methodology entails blind tests on up to 15 lyophilised leaf samples infected with a defined range of banana viruses, specifically Banana bunchy top virus (BBTV), Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV), Banana bract mosaic virus (BBrMV), Banana mild mosaic virus (BanMMV), and Banana streak viruses (BSV).

For laboratories using the standard protocols, methods and specialised indexing reagents (antibodies an

The results have been published in a report that can be downloaded here.


List of participating institutes to the MusaNet Virus Ring Test (as of June 2018)

Country

Institute

Contact Name

Australia

DAF

Kathy Crew

Belgium

ULg

Sebastien Massart

France (GDL)

CIRAD

Pierre-Yves Teycheney

France (la Reunion)

ANSES

Delphine Masse

France (Montpellier)

CIRAD

Marie-line Caruana

India

ICAR

R. Selvaraian

Nigeria

IITA

Lava Kumar

Philippines

UPLB

Fe Dela Cueva

French Polynesia

SDR

Maurice Wong

 

For more information on the virus ring test, including if your institute would like to take part, please contact Kathy Crew at Kathy.Crew@daf.qld.gov.au

 

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