Next generation sequencing (NGS) and bioinformatics for virus discovery provide an unbiased insight into the pathogen/ virus composition of a plant sample without a priori knowledge of a particular organism. Besides the discovery of NEW viruses, we investigate the genetic variability of viruses and the composition of virus populations in environmental samples.
NGS is fundamental to the discovery of new viruses, the development of diagnostic methods and the indexing of plant materials for freedom from viruses and other pathogens.
Serological reagents and assays for virus diagnosis are most commonly used for routine virus diagnosis in the laboratory and field. The generally used virus assay ELISA provides a highly standardized test format that is easily scalable and can be automatized.
Specific antisera from purified viruses or recombinant virus proteins are the basis of our ELISA reagents. Our virus research comprises the search and evaluation of diagnostic options and in particular the development of reagents and methods that can be used in routine indexing. The portfolio of DSMZ ELISA tests for detection of plant viruses is continuously complemented and publicized in our yearly catalogue.
Along with the development of new reagents for virus testing, our research also focuses on innovative techniques and methods to advance the testing procedures.
The B-Fast ELISA reduces testing times to two hours and allows testing at large scale.
Proficiency Tests for interlaboratory comparison are essential for laboratory testing and a requirement for the accreditation process. In general, for interlaboratory comparison, plant samples are distributed to participants for concurrent testing and validation.
DSMZ as an international reference center for plant viruses has the technical competence on the plant viruses and the diagnostic tests to be performed and acts as co-organizer with national and international partners to conduct proficiency tests. Test samples may consist of fresh or freeze dried leaf materials and/or nucleic acid extracts for all molecular, serological or biological assays.
Viruses and other plant pathogens impede the international movement of germplasm, breeding materials and improved varieties. International regulations provide the directives to prevent the distribution of plant pathogens that are only present in a particular world region and protect from inadvertent introduction of pathogens that are new to particular environments and that can pose serious risks to agriculture and ecosystems.
Indexing plant materials for virus freedom during transit quarantine is a key competence of DSMZ providing the respective infrastructure (quarantine glasshouse) and the most appropriate virus.
A combination of growing on tests combined with NGS is applied to certify plant materials free of viruses and other plant pathogens.
Our consultancy on training in diagnostic methods, plant health and disease intervention is to enable scientists,
technicians and practitioners in the laboratory and field.