There is a new tool out for identifying those elusive and pesky viruses called VirusDetect. It is a free, open source pipeline that researchers are just now starting to develop and expand for industry wide use.
It works by attempting to identify small strands of RNA interferons or RNAi that plant viruses are reliant on for infection. Each type of virus has, for the most part a readily identifiable and unique RNAi that can be used to trace the exact type of virus.
Here is a quote Associate Professor Zhangjun Fei on VirusDetect…
“We choose this small RNA sequencing technology because it is a highly efficient technology for virus identification and discovery,” said Fei. “VirusDetect is the first bioinformatics tool that is specifically designed to analyze this kind of data for virus detection.”
This could increase the speed of detection for many viruses in the agricultural world and increase the response time for treatment as huge batches of RNA can be run in the pipe and identified quickly and easily.
More can be read on their blog at http://bioinfo.bti.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/virusdetect/index.cgi