Submitted to: Phytopathology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: A putative tobamovirus, Florida hibiscus virus, was recently isolated from hibiscus landscape plantings in Florida. Accurate diagnosis of this virus is essential to prevent propagation of infected plants. Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), dot-blot immunoassay (DBIA), tissue-blot immunoassay (TBIA) and immunocapture-reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (IC-RT-PCR) were compared to evaluate their usefulness for diagnosis of this virus. Both indirect and double-antibody sandwich (DAS) ELISA were more sensitive than DBIA with all samples tested. The virus was also reliably detected by TBIA from leaves and bark of hibiscus plants. The most sensitive method was IC-RT-PCR, which could detect as little as 50 pg of virus in partially purified preparations and was 2-8 times more sensitive than DAS-ELISA with hibiscus bark and leaf extracts. Both ELISA techniques and TBIA are applicable to large numbers of samples because of their simplicity. IC-RT-PCR could be a useful alternative to ELISA and TBIA for virus detection in cases where sample size is limited or virus concentration is low.