A user-friendly test kit for detection of little cherry virus 2 (the cause of little cherry disease) is available for growers to use.
Agdia, Inc., of Elkhart, Indiana, developed the test, which is called AmplifyRP Acceler8, in collaboration with Dr. Ken Eastwell, virologist at Washington State University. It is based on recombinase polymerase amplification technology. It does not require expensive equipment or highly trained technicians.
Transmitted by mealybugs, little cherry virus 2 does not induce significant foliar symptoms in most sweet cherry varieties, but does result in unevenly -ripened small fruit with poor flavor.
AmplifyRP Acceler8 enables users to test for the virus using leaf samples. The test provides clear yes/no results and can be completed in about 30 minutes.
The test has been demonstrated to be as sensitive as the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction method used in laboratories. It has been validated against multiple isolates of the virus collected throughout Washington fruit- growing regions.
For more information, check the -website www.agdia.com.