Research in Plant Sciences. 2014, 2(2), 33-41DOI:
Abstract: Plum pox virus (PPV), the agent of sharka, is the most devastating virus infecting stone fruits. The PPV control is mainly based on prevention, and its quick and reliable detection is considered crucial in this strategy. In this study DAS-ELISA and Real-time PCR were compared for evaluating their potentialities and limits for large scale surveys. Different hosts (apricot and peach), plant organs (phloem, buds, flowers, leaves and fruits) and parts of them, different periods of the year, the presence or absence of symptoms were considered for comparison. No significant differences were observed between the two techniques when the titre of the virus in the plant is high (on spring). Conversely, Real-time is preferable to ELISA for testing tissues with low virus concentration (in the early stages of infection or during summer). Moreover, the accurate and careful observation of symptoms in the field remains crucial in the application of the disease monitoring and eradication programs.