Purification of potato leaf roll virus and an evaluation of methods for its diagnosis

Research paper by R. F. Hepp, G. A. de Zoeten

Indexed on: 01 Mar '78Published on: 01 Mar '78Published in: American Journal of Potato Research


To evaluate four diagnostic methods for potato leaf roll virus (PLRV), an antiserum was prepared against a virus preparation purified from infectedDatura stramonium L. by an exudation method. The antiserum had a titer of 1:64 in microprecipitin tests. In a procedure developed subsequently PLRV was purified by a method that involved grinding liquid nitrogen frozen stems, petioles, and veins from different solanaceous hosts. A chloroform and n-butanol clarification was done followed by two cycles of differential centrifugation. On sucrose gradients, these preparations formed one band containing spherical particles 25 nm in diameter.In Ouchterlony double-diffusion plates, the antiserum reacted positively with virus preparations from frozenPhysalis, Datura or potato tissue partially purified by two cycles of differential centrifugation. No visible reaction was obtained between the antiserum and the virus preparation from density gradient centrifugation. Antiserum neutralized infectivity of 40–50% of the virions in a partially purified preparation. No virus peak was detected in the scanning patterns obtained after a mixture of antiserum and virus was centrifuged on a sucrose density gradient. A few virus particles were seen attached to serologically specific grids.Methods to diagnose PLRV in infected potato tubers were then compared. In the first, aphids were used to acquire the virus from tuber sprouts. They transmitted the virus to 100% of thePhysalis test plants. Results of the second method, visual inspection of symptoms on potato plants, were similar to those of the first method. Sarkar’s electron microscopic method and immuno-specific grids were less efficient than aphid transmission to diagnose PLRV in tuber sprouts. The low virus concentration in infected tissue made these last two methods unreliable.