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Posted 26 June 2014. PMN Crop News.


Agdia Launches First User-Friendly RNA Test Kit for Little Cherry Virus 2


Source: Agdia Press Release. www.agdia.com


Elkhart, Indiana (June 1, 2014)—Agdia, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of a user-friendly RNA test kit for detection of Little cherry virus 2 (LChV2), a causal agent of little cherry disease in sweet cherry crops.

 

Little cherry virus 2 has plagued northwestern U.S. commercial growing regions in recent years and has recently been reported in Australia. This has forced stakeholders to ask serious questions about its management. The pathogen that causes the disease, LChV2, is easily transmitted by at least two species of mealybug as well as through grafting. Trees that are infected by the pathogen may be stunted and produce small, misshapen and poor tasting fruit that are unmarketable. There is no cure for trees that are infected and consequently must be destroyed to prevent further spread of the pathogen.

Agdia's test, AmplifyRP® Acceler8 for LChV2, is based on recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) technology and was developed in collaboration with scientists at Washington State University. It enables ultra-rapid amplification of target RNA at a single operating temperature with sensitivity comparable to that of PCR. In contrast to PCR, AmplifyRP Acceler8 does not require nucleic acid purifications, expensive equipment, or highly trained technicians. The entire testing process can be completed in about 30 minutes using a crude extract and a portable heat block.

To use the test, a sample is placed inside an extraction bag along with an extraction buffer. The user then rubs the outside of the bag with a blunt object, such as a pen cap, to extract the sample. Following this step, a small volume of the extract is transferred to a reaction tube which contains all of the amplification reagents. Once the sample has been added, the tube is closed and heated inside a small portable heat block for 15 minutes. The entire tube is then added to an amplicon detection chamber (pictured) which contains a lateral flow strip. If LChV2 RNA is present in a sample and amplicons are produced, two lines will appear on the strip indicating a positive result. A negative result would be indicated by only one line being present.

AmplifyRP Acceler8 kits for LChV2 are available for purchase from Agdia immediately. A starter pack, which includes the portable heat block and some dispensing equipment, is required for first time users at a cost of only $300.