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Posted 30 January 2013. PMN Crop News.

Agdia Announces New Direct-Seed Testing Program for PSTVd in Tomato

Source: Agdia Press Release.

Elkhart, Indiana (January 5, 2013)--A leading provider of agricultural diagnostic test kits and services has implemented a new, novel, testing method for diagnosing Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) in tomato seed.


PSTVd is a small single stranded RNA molecule that is known to affect various crops. Potato and tomato are crops that can be naturally infected by the pathogen. If infected, a crop can suffer from yield reductions and poor quality which in turn puts an economical burden on the grower. Because PSTVd can be transmitted via infected seed, testing before planting is an important step to prevent widespread contamination.

Until recently, Agdia had been able to test seed for infection by first germinating the seed and testing the sprouts using a molecular testing method called Nucleic Acid Hybridization. Because of innovations in RNA extraction that Agdia has developed, the laboratory is able to eliminate the need to germinate seeds before testing and can now test seed lots directly. This innovation in the extraction process allows Agdia to report results in just a few days, compared to two or three weeks previously.

Deborah Groth Helms, Agdia's Testing Services Laboratory Manager, says "We are very excited to offer this enhanced method of testing to our customers. Agdia has always been sensitive to the fact that timing and accuracy of results is crucial to growing operations in terms of both plant health and their ability to export product. Using this method, we get our customers the results that they need faster, and do so without impacting their overall testing cost." For additional information on this new service provided by Agdia, contact Agdia Testing Services.

Deborah Groth-Helms