Abiopep S.L. used high-throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies to detect viruses associated to tomato fruit blotching in Murcia

Viral diseases can cause significant yield and fruit quality losses in tomato intensive cultivation. Although there are many viruses known to affect tomato crops, important problems could often be caused by viruses not reported before in the region of consideration. To anticipate problems potentially caused by emerging or new viruses, it is crucial to have sensitive and reliable virus discovery and detection technologies for virus diagnosis and control. 

To study the presence of unknown viruses infecting tomato plants in Murcia, we have used High throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies in a collection of tomato samples from this region. As a result, besides detecting PepMV, TYLCV, ToCV and STV, already reported, we identified three viruses reported for the first time in tomato crops in Spain: Olive latent virus 1 (OLV1), Lettuce ring necrosis virus (LRNV) and Tomato fruit blotch virus (ToFBV) as we describe in this article published in the journal Microorganisms. ToFBV was reported recently from Australia and Italy associated to fruit blotching and uneven ripening of tomato fruits. Our data suggested that these viruses were circulating for a few years in the region, but remained undetected. Besides Australia and Italy, ToFBV has also been detected in Portugal, Eslovenia, Brasil and France, as far as we are aware.

By using next generation sequencing technologies, Abiopep is leading virus detection and discovery in the Murcia region, keeping an open eye on the phytosanitary status of the plants, thus helping growers to identify and solve problems accurately and in a short period of time.

In addition, Abiopep S.L. has developed a real-time PCR (RT-qPCR) assay based on the use of TaqMan probes for the detection of ToFBV with high reliability and specificity, increasing its diagnostics capabilities offering diagnostic tools to produce fast and sensitive results for any sample with the suspected viruses.