Comparison of meristem culture and heat therapy to clean garlic (Allium sativum L.) infecting virus in Ethiopia
Experiment to detect garlic-infecting virus for three improved garlic varieties and to clean the virus were conducted in Ethiopia. Garlic cloves were planted in screen house at Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa-International Livestock Research Institute Hub Nairobi, Kenya in 2014. Reverse Transcription polymerase chain reaction (*RT-PCR) technique was applied using two general Potyvirus detecting primer sets designated as CP and Nib. The primers were designed based on deep sequencing information previously generated from infected Ethiopian garlic samples. The RT-PCR diagnosis showed that the three improved garlic varieties were completely infected by potyvirus across all tested sites. Thus, to recover the cultivars two techniques viz. meristem culture alone and meristem culture associated with thermotherapy (cloves treated with 38oc for 60 days) were compared. Then, indexing by RTPCR indicated that 77% and 82% in vitro plantlets were found to be virus free from meristem culture alone and thermotherapy associated with meristem culture, respectively.