A survey of viral status on potatoes grown in Eritrea and in vitro virus elimination of a local variety ‘Tsaeda embaba

  • T Biniam
  • M Tadesse
Keywords: ELISA test, meristem culture, Solanum tuberosum L., thermotherapy, viruses.


Potato viruses are the major causes of yield loss and reduction in quality of seed tubers in Eritrea. A study was conducted to investigate the prevalence of viruses in potatoes (Solanum tuberosum L.)
grown in Eritrea and to evaluate methods for their elimination. Leaf samples of two indigenous, (Tsaeda embaba and Keyih embaba) and three exotic varieties, (Ajiba, Spunta and Cosmos) were collected from
fields growing potatoes in Maekel and Debub Administrative Zones and tested using the double antibody sandwich enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (DAS ELISA) technique. Five of the six most
important potato viruses, PVX, PVY, PLRV, PVS and PVA, were detected in single and multiple infections. Virus elimination techniques were tested using in vitro plantlets of T. embaba established
from field-grown tubers. Presence of PVX, PLRV and PVS was confirmed by ELISA test. The plantlets were then subjected to thermotherapy treatment for one and two weeks at 37oC. The treatment was
successful in eliminating only PLRV but failed to eliminate PVX and PVS. When meristem culture was combined with thermotherapy treatment for one week all three viruses PVX, PLRV and PVS were
eliminated with a success rate of 86, 83 and 100%, respectively.

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eISSN: 1684-5315