Onsite detection of plant viruses using isothermal amplification assays

A I Bhat, Rashid Aman, Magdy M. Mahfouz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Plant diseases caused by viruses limit crop production and quality, resulting in significant losses. However, options for managing viruses are limited; for example, as systemic obligate parasites, they cannot be killed by chemicals. Sensitive, robust, affordable diagnostic assays are needed to detect the presence of viruses in plant materials such as seeds, vegetative parts, insect vectors, or alternative hosts, and then prevent or limit their introduction into the field by destroying infected plant materials or controlling insect hosts. Diagnostics based on biological and physical properties are not very sensitive and are time consuming, but assays based on viral proteins and nucleic acids are more specific, sensitive, and rapid. However, most such assays require laboratories with sophisticated equipment and technical skills. By contrast, isothermal-based assays such as loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and recombinase polymerase amplification (RPA) are simple, easy to perform, reliable, specific, rapid, and do not require specialized equipment or skills. Isothermal amplification assays can be performed using lateral flow devices, making them suitable for onsite detection or testing in the field. To overcome non-specific amplification and cross-contamination issues, isothermal amplification assays can be coupled with CRISPR/Cas technology. Indeed, the collateral activity associated with some CRISPR/Cas systems has been successfully harnessed for visual detection of plant viruses. Here, we briefly describe traditional methods for detecting viruses, then examine the various isothermal assays that are being harnessed to detect viruses.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPlant biotechnology journal
StatePublished - Jun 11 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Biotechnology


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