Molecular diagnostics for detection of virus and virus-like pathogens in citrus.
The productivity and productive life of citrus is often affected by a number of graft transmissible pathogens. These pathogens are Citrus tristeza virus, Indian citrus ringspot virus, Citrus yellow mosaic virus, Candidates liberibacter asiaticus (fastidious greening bacterium) and viroids. Because of rapid advancement in genome characterization of these pathogens, molecular diagnostics based on polymerase chain reaction and nucleic acid hybridization for detection of these pathogens have been developed. The PCR based diagnostic method in particular is more reliable, sensitive and rapid compared to serological assays and biological indexing. However, these methods need large-scale evaluation and cost reduction for wide application. Simplified nucleic acid template preparation and multiplex PCR can help reduce the cost of molecular diagnostics for production of clean planting material of citrus.