Characterization of the mixture of genotypes of a Citrus tristeza virus isolate by reverse transcription-quantitative real-time PCR.
A multiplex real-time PCR assay was developed to detect and quantify the Citrus tristeza virus (CTV) genotypic mixture present in infected plants. CTV isolate FS627, a complex Florida isolate containing T36, T30 and VT genotypes and its aphid transmitted subisolates was used. The relative quantitative assay was carried out using specific primers and probes developed from the genotypes of three CTV virus isolates and included the coat protein region of isolate T36 and the 5′ end, ORF 1a and ORF 2 region of isolates T36, T30 and VT. Among the three genotypes present in the aphid transmitted subisolates, the T30 genotype showed higher overall relative quantitation in all specific regions compared to other isolates. The profiles of the some aphid transmitted subisolates were different from the parent source from which they transmitted. The 2-ΔΔCt method (the amount of target, normalized to an endogenous control and relative to a calibrator) was used to analyze the relative titers of the three reference genotypes in the aphid transmitted plants infected with FS627. This protocol enabled assessments of CTV genetic diversity in the aphid transmitted subisolates. This simple quantitative assay was sensitive, efficient, and took less time than other existing methods. This relative quantitative assay will be a reliable tool for diagnosis, detection and genetic diversity studies on CTV.