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Phytopathology. 2015 Jun;105(6):758-63. doi: 10.1094/PHYTO-06-14-0165-R. Epub 2015 May 29.

Comparison of Next-Generation Sequencing Versus Biological Indexing for the Optimal Detection of Viral Pathogens in Grapevine.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of California, Davis 95616.


A bioassay is routinely used to determine the viral phytosanitary status of commercial grapevine propagation material in many countries around the world. That test is based on the symptoms developed in the field by specific indicator host plants that are graft-inoculated from the vines being tested. We compared the bioassay against next-generation sequencing (NGS) analysis of grapevine material. NGS is a laboratory procedure that catalogs the genomic sequences of the viruses and other pathogens extracted as DNA and RNA from infected vines. NGS analysis was found to be superior to the standard bioassay in detection of viruses of agronomic significance, including virus infections at low titers. NGS was also found to be superior to the bioassay in its comprehensiveness, the speed of its analysis, and for the discovery of novel, uncharacterized viruses.

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