CRISPR/Cas12-based detection is a novel approach for efficient, sequence-specific identification of viruses. Here the team adopts the use of CRISPR/Cas12a to identify the Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV), a new and emerging Tobamovirus causing substantial damage to the global tomato industry. Specific guide RNAs (gRNAs) were designed to detect either ToBRFV or the closely related Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV).
This technology enabled the differential detection of ToBRFV and ToMV. Sensitivity assays revealed that viruses can be detected from 15-30 ng of RT-PCR product, and that specific detection could be achieved from a mix of ToMV and ToBRFV. In addition, this research shows that this method enabled the identification of ToBRFV in samples collected from commercial greenhouses. These results demonstrate a new method for species-specific detection of plant viruses. This could provide a platform for the development of efficient and user-friendly ways to distinguish between closely related strains and resistance-breaking pathogens.
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Alon, Dan & Hak, Hagit & Bornstein, Menachem & Pines, Gur & Spiegelman, Ziv. (2021). Differential detection of Tomato mosaic virus (ToMV) and Tomato brown rugose fruit virus (ToBRFV) using CRISPR-Cas12. 10.1101/2021.03.16.435580.