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Annu Rev Phytopathol. 2007;45:307-28.

Microarrays for rapid identification of plant viruses.

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  • 1Central Science Laboratory, Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ, United Kingdom. n.boonham@csl.gov.uk


Many factors affect the development and application of diagnostic techniques. Plant viruses are an inherently diverse group that, unlike cellular pathogens, possess no nucleotide sequence type (e.g., ribosomal RNA sequences) in common. Detection of plant viruses is becoming more challenging as globalization of trade, particularly in ornamentals, and the potential effects of climate change enhance the movement of viruses and their vectors, transforming the diagnostic landscape. Techniques for assessing seed, other propagation materials and field samples for the presence of specific viruses include biological indexing, electron microscopy, antibody-based detection, including enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and microarray detection. Of these, microarray detection provides the greatest capability for parallel yet specific testing, and can be used to detect individual, or combinations of viruses and, using current approaches, to do so with a sensitivity comparable to ELISA. Methods based on PCR provide the greatest sensitivity among the listed techniques but are limited in parallel detection capability even in "multiplexed" applications. Various aspects of microarray technology, including probe development, array fabrication, assay target preparation, hybridization, washing, scanning, and interpretation are presented and discussed, for both current and developing technology.

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