Plant viruses cause economic losses of several billions of dollars every year. The often unspecific symptoms of a virus infection and the enormous variability of the genomes of plant viruses make it very challenging to come up with reliable diagnoses. In the event of an infection it is also vital to act quickly so as prevent spreading. However, the analyses required – such as single-stage simultaneous detection of various viruses in an infected plant – are difficult if not impossible to carry out using commonly available diagnosis kits.
The Fraunhofer project BioPat involves Fraunhofer EMFT researchers working alongside the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Fraunhofer Center for Systems Biotechnology CSB to develop highly specific and robust in-field sensor components for the detection of plant diseases.