SASA uses molecular biology techniques in its research on viruses – this research includes topics such as identification, detection and variability of viral species. Such research is usually conducted in collaboration with other scientists with specialisms such as virology and antibody production. We participate in molecular characterisation studies of Scottish potato viruses isolated during crop surveillance (e.g. Browning et al., 2004). Mortensen et al. (2010) characterised potato viruses (PVA, PVS, PVV and PVX) found in potatoes originating from Shetland and compared them to viruses from Scottish mainland crops. These studies inform the assay design process which is vital in the production of robust molecular methods such as PCR.
We collaborate on the molecular characterisation of potato Carlaviruses of quarantine interest, such as Potato Latent Virus (Brattey et al., 2002), Potato Rough Dwarf Virus and Potato Virus P (Nisbet et al., 2006). Related to this is work on identification of viroid isolates from various plants (James et al., 2007). Viroids are unusual plant pathogens, consisting of a naked circle of RNA; they are a great concern in the commercial production of many plant species.
See details of SASA publications on Virus Characterisation mentioned on this page.