skip to Main Content
Fleck Virus Das Elisa Result
August / September 2022

Research Improves Testing for Grapevine Fleck Virus

SA Fruit Journal: August / September 2022

The efficacy of detection methods used by the South African Vine Improvement Association certification scheme has increased. By Jorisna Bonthuys

The more effective testing for the grapevine fleck virus (GFkV) is thanks to a recent investigation into the available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits used for this purpose in table- and wine-grape plant material.

The project was initiated in 2019 under the leadership of Gerhard Pietersen, former professor in the Department of Genetics at Stellenbosch University (SU) and current senior researcher at Patho Solutions, a company involved in research, diagnostics and control of plant pathogens.

Funding was provided by the South African Table Grape Industry (SATI) and Winetech, the equivalent funding body for the wine grape industry. Genetic research techniques used as part of this project served as the topic for a master's degree thesis by Katie Usher.

The study aimed to assess the usefulness of commercially available enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) test kits in detecting grapevine fleck virus (GFkV) during routine testing done as part of the South African Vine Improvement Association (VIA) certification process.

Although GFkV is prescribed as a virus of concern within this scheme, the only means of testing for the virus in the past was to inoculate it onto a susceptible plant – known as an "indicator plant" – and then wait for symptoms of the disease to manifest. This, however, constitutes a lengthy and very expensive method and is best replaced by ELISA testing.

Read More
Back To Top