Simultaneous and co-operational amplification (Co-PCR): a new concept for detection of plant viruses
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A new and highly sensitive method for the amplification of viral RNA targets from plant material has been developed and patented. This technique called Co-operational amplification (Co-PCR) can be carried out easily in a simple tetraprimer reaction based on the simultaneous action of four primers. The reaction process consists of the simultaneous reverse transcription of two different fragments from the same target, one containing the other; the production of four amplicons by the combination of the two pair of primers, one pair external to other; and the co-operational action of amplicons for the production of the largest fragment. The technique was used successfully, both in metal block and capillary air thermal cyclers for the detection of plant RNA viruses (Cherry leaf roll virus, Strawberry latent ringspot virus, Cucumber mosaic virus, Plum pox virus and Citrus tristeza virus). The sensitivity observed is at least 100 times higher than that achieved with RT-PCR and similar to nested RT-PCR. Colorimetric detection was coupled with this methodology facilitating its introduction for routine indexing programs and for phytosanitary selection of virus-free plant material. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.