Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

High-throughput molecular diagnostics for detecting potato-plant viruses

Every year, Agroscope inspects almost 300 000 tubers for the presence or absence of viruses in order to certify potato plants destined for Swiss producers. From 2016 onwards, this inspection has been performed using real time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) on dormant tubers right after the harvest. The new method allows results to be obtained more quickly, and dispenses with the use of toxic and polluting chemical treatments for breaking dormancy. The new analytical chain was developed by Agroscope, and validated over a period of three years on dozens of lots and almost 15,000 tubers. Offering the means to check that each stage of the analysis has been performed correctly, it can easily be adapted to screen for other types of microorganisms likely to affect the quality of the potato plants.

To the archive