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PhilRice adopts virus detection tool for rice
by Ladylyn Jose - Wednesday, 9 March 2016, 02:51 PM
www.philstar.com: February 28, 2016

MANILA, Philippines - Scientists at the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) have adapted a simplified method to detect viruses in plant and insect vectors using the loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique.

LAMP assay has been proven useful in detecting viruses in animals and humans, said PhilRice research fellow Emmanuel Tiongco.

Tiongco’s team extended the application of this method to rice viruses in the Philippines.

The method enables detection of the rice tungro bacilliform virus (RTBV) in plants even before common symptoms become noticeable.

“Through this application, major rice virus diseases and insect vectors can be diagnosed in a fast, efficient, and accurate method,” Tiongco said.

Using the method, RTBV can be detected one day after infection. The widely used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) detects RTBV three days after infection.

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Additionally, Tiongco said LAMP assay detects the rice ragged stunt virus (RRSV) and the rice dwarf virus (RDV) not only in rice plants but also in their respective brown planthopper and green leafhopper vectors.

This way, the impending virus spread is known even before rice crop establishment.

According to Tiongco, existing virus detection tools have difficulties in detecting viruses that are of low titer (strength of a substance’s solution) aside from being arduous and time consuming.

Easy to follow procedures, cheaper equipment required, high level of specificity, and simple result determination by merely looking at the change in color of the test solution are among the advantages of the newly developed method.

Tiongco and his team have conducted training programs for agricultural technicians, rice researchers, and extension workers about this new method at the PhilRice Central Experiment Station in Nueva Ecija and its stations in Isabela, Negros, and Midsayap.

This early virus detection tool is useful for pest control officers, he said.

The reliable and prompt results the tool provides can lead to proactive solutions, which thereby can prevent viral disease epidemic.

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