Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Methods of detection of, and Prunus species genetic resistance to, sharka virus

Sharka disease causes severe losses in crops of stone fruits and occurs at different levels in most European countries, where hundreds of million of trees are infected. There is a need for cultivars resistant to the disease and also better methods of detection of the disease to give guarantees of plant health for both Community and international trade. Research is underway to breed genetic resistance to sharka disease in the cultivated Prunus species and to develop methods of detection of the disease.

In relation to methods of detection, several monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies have been obtained and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and immunocapture PCR techniques have also been tested. Peach and plum trees showing resistance to sharka virus are difficult to find but such resistance is found in apricot. Genetic transformations have been made using young tissues of Prunus. In vitro methods for the evaluation of resistance to sharka have been developed. Epidemiological studies on the transmission of sharka have been carried out on apricot and peach trees. The role of insect aphids as a vector of sharka has been emphasized.

Reported by

Ecole Nationale Superieure Agronomique de Montpellier
2 Place Viala
34060 Montpellier Cedex 01
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