NY99034 - Attendance at Methods and Markers for Quality Assurance in Micropropagation conference, Ireland

This 1999 conference focused on applying molecular biology techniques to ensure plant quality. Molecular biology techniques may be used to detect and identify plant pathogens (viruses, bacteria, fungi and mycoplasmas); to verify clonal fidelity; and to detect any genetic change that arises through the micropropagation process. For pathogen detection, in the past, the immunological-based ELISA test has developed into routine use. It is robust, fairly specific, and can be adapted to new pathogens relatively easily. However, it has limited sensitivity and is not so easily applied to bacteria and fungi. PCR has potential as it has high sensitivity and specificity, but it costs about three times more than ELISA. This and other molecular biology techniques were discussed at the conference and are outlined in this final report.