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BMC Proceedings

Open Access

Molecular diagnostics for the detection of strawberry viruses in Australia

  • Fiona Constable1,
  • Chris Bottcher1,
  • Geoff Kelly1,
  • Rose Lines1,
  • Mirko Milinkovic1,
  • Denis Persley1 and
  • Brendan Rodoni1
BMC Proceedings20093(Suppl 3):O5

Published: 1 July 2009


Polymerase Chain ReactionIndicator SpeciesCost Effective MethodIndexing MethodMolecular Diagnostics

In Australia certified strawberry runners are supplied through the Victorian Strawberry Certification Authority and the Queensland Strawberry Runner Certification Scheme. The strawberry runners are certified on the basis of their high health status. For this high health status to be achieved nucleus collections are held by each scheme and are indexed annually for the major fungal, bacterial and virus-associated diseases of strawberries known to occur in Australia. Both nucleus collections are tested annually in spring for virus-associated diseases via the biological indexing method of petiole grafting onto sensitive indicator species. While this method is reliable and sensitive, it is labour intensive, expensive, time consuming (6–8 weeks to return a result) and can only be reliably done in the spring and early summer months of each year. Recent advances in molecular techniques have been published overseas for the detection of most of the viruses that infect strawberry plants. Molecular indexing via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) offers the Australian strawberry industry a more rapid and cost effective method of indexing the strawberry nucleus collection. PCR returns a diagnosis in 1–2 days resulting in a much reduced cost to industry for the annual indexing of the nucleus collection.

Authors’ Affiliations

Plant Health Sciences, Department of Primary Industries, Queensland University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia


© Constable et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.