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Posted 4 May 2007. PMN Crop News.

Agdia’s Easy-to-Use, On-Site ImmunoStrip Identifies Hard-to-Detect Cymbidium Mosaic and Odontoglossum Ringspot Viruses in Orchids

Agdia, Inc.

Elkhart, Indiana (May 1, 2007)–-Agdia, Inc. has introduced an ImmunoStrip® that allows for detection and identification of two of the most prevalent and damaging viruses affecting cultivated orchids: Cymbidium mosaic virus (CymMV) and Odontoglossum ringspot virus (ORSV). The CymMV / ORSV ImmunoStrip – a rapid diagnostic test available for on-site detection of both viruses at the same time – is of benefit to orchid hobbyists, breeders, and commercial growers.


“CymMV and ORSV are the most important viral pathogens that infect orchids,” said Michael Tiffany, Senior Plant Pathologist in Agdia’s Ornamental Diagnostic Products area. “Because almost all cultivated orchids worldwide are susceptible, the virus can have a huge economic impact. In the United States alone, total sales in 2004 for cut orchid flowers was nearly $8.2 million and for potted orchids was $17.2 million, according to the USDA Floricultural Crops 2004 Summary published in April 2005.”


CymMV and ORSV, also known respectively as Cymbidium black streak disease and Tobacco mosaic virus – orchid strain (TMV-O), are sap-transmissible viruses that infect many hybrids and species of orchids. Plants infected with CymMV and ORSV do not always exhibit symptoms or symptoms develop after the plant is under stress. When symptoms are present they can vary from variety to variety or resemble other problems. This behavior makes it difficult to recognize infected plants.

The CymMV and the ORSV viruses are transmitted from an infected plant to a healthy plant via mechanical means (cutting instruments or handling) or plant-to-plant contact. CymMV can produce mosaic, mottling, distortion, curling, rugosity, spotting, necrosis (tissue death), flower necrosis, and chlorotic flecks symptoms. ORSV can produce ringspots, flower color breaking, chlorotic streaking, mosaic, and necrosis symptoms. Plants can also be asymptomatic.

ImmunoStrips offer the laboratory technology of ELISA, but in an easy-to-use format that works in both the greenhouse and in the field. Agdia designed the ImmunoStrip test for on-site determination of CymMV and ORSV in symptomatic plants as well as plants that exhibit no disease symptoms. The CymMV / ORSV ImmunoStrip can be used with all orchids and any part of the plant may be tested except pseudo-bulbs.

Ease of use is one of the key attributes of the ImmunoStrip – the test is so simple that even those with no prior testing experience can perform it. The testing process involves simply grinding the suspect plant sample in the special bag that contains the sample buffer (included with the kit) and inserting the ImmunoStrip into the bag. Clear “yes” or “no” results can be seen in 20-30 minutes, versus several hours for an ELISA test, or several days when sending to a lab. The ImmunoStrip is stable for one year from date of purchase when stored refrigerated.

“There are many advantages to the Orchid ImmunoStrip Test over other tests available to the industry,” said Tiffany. “The test is economical, as little as $4.50 per test strip, takes only minutes to complete, and can be used anywhere. The results are simple to interpret, reliable, and storable. It is definitely grower friendly, the cost is very reasonable considering the investment that is made in buying and maintaining orchids.”

The Orchid ImmunoStrips have undergone an extensive Agdia validation. Internal experiments with naturally infected and uninfected samples supplied from external sources showed 100 % agreement with ELISA results. The ImmunoStrips were also evaluated by collaborators that maintain orchid virus isolate collections. The CymMV / ORSV ImmunoStrip has shown not to cross-react with Tobacco mosaic virus (TMV).

For more information about the CymMV / ORSV ImmunoStrip and other Agdia products and services, please call 574-264-2615 or toll-free 1-800-622-4342, or visit the Agdia website at

ABOUT AGDIA, INC. – Agdia, Inc., is located in Elkhart, Ind., USA. Since 1981, Agdia has been developing and providing products and services to detect pathogens in plants. The company markets its products worldwide and offers tests for over 200 pathogens, including viruses, bacteria, viroids, phytoplasmas, and fungi that infect plants. Agdia also operates a Testing Services Department that analyzes plant samples from around the world.

Sarah Hindman, Sales and Marketing Manager