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The coat protein (CP) gene of Apple mosaic virus (ApMV), a member of the genus Ilarvirus, was selected for the design of virus-specific primers for amplification and molecular detection of the virus in cultivated apple. A combined assay of reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed with a single pair of ApMV-specific primers and crude nucleic acid extracts from virus-infected apple for rapid detection of the virus. The PCR product was verified by restriction mapping analysis and by sequence determination. The lowest concentration of template viral RNA required for detection was 100 fg. This indicates that the RTPCR for detection of the virus is a 103 times more sensitive, reproducible and time-saving method than the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The specificity of the primers was verified using other unrelated viral RNAs. No PCR product was observed when Cucumber mosaic virus (Cucumovirus) or a crude extract of healthy apple was used as a template in RT-PCR with the same primers. The PCR product (669 bp) of the CP gene of the virus was cloned into the plasmid vector and resultant recombinant (pAPCP1) was selected for molecule of apple transformation to breed virus-resistant transgenic apple plants as the next step. This method can be useful for early stage screening of in vitro plantlet and genetic resources of resistant cultivar of apple plants.


The coat protein (CP) gene of Apple mosaic virus (ApMV), a member of the genus Ilarvirus, was selected for the design of virus-specific primers for amplification and molecular detection of the virus in cultivated apple. A combined assay of reverse transcription and polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) was performed with a single pair of ApMV-specific primers and crude nucleic acid extracts from virus-infected apple for rapid detection of the virus. The PCR product was verified by restriction mapping analysis and by sequence determination. The lowest concentration of template viral RNA required for detection was 100 fg. This indicates that the RTPCR for detection of the virus is a 103 times more sensitive, reproducible and time-saving method than the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The specificity of the primers was verified using other unrelated viral RNAs. No PCR product was observed when Cucumber mosaic virus (Cucumovirus) or a crude extract of healthy apple was used as a template in RT-PCR with the same primers. The PCR product (669 bp) of the CP gene of the virus was cloned into the plasmid vector and resultant recombinant (pAPCP1) was selected for molecule of apple transformation to breed virus-resistant transgenic apple plants as the next step. This method can be useful for early stage screening of in vitro plantlet and genetic resources of resistant cultivar of apple plants.