Research project Faster, cheaper identification of emerging virus problems

Complete Acronym: VIRFAST
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Main research question

Is it possible to develop a standardized protocol using direct RNA sequencing (Nanopore technology) for pure plant virus preparations ?What are the performances of this protocol applied on more complex matrices and variable virus titers compared to the current reference NGS technology ?What are the gaps, needs, and possible improvements for the current on-site detection tools (LFD, LAMP, portable real-time PCR…) and how can the Nanopore technology provides a solution for the current shortcomings ?Finally, by creating a transnational stakeholders community on for on-site testing, the project consortium aims to create a solid base, and be responsive on the rapidly developing technologies that can contribute in the development of faster, reliable and sensitive onsite virus diagnostic tools.

Research approach

1. Testing the Oxford Nanopore technology (ONT) on pure virus preparations

2. Technology evaluation on plant samples

3. Creating stakeholders community for on-site testing

Creating stakeholder community for on-site detection of plant virusesOpportunities for on-site surveillance on plant viruses

4. Outreach and dissemination

Reporting and dissemination to scientific communityReporting and dissemination to authorities

Relevance/Valorization

The results of technological development of the nanapore sequencing technology for use in plant health will be shared with the partners of the transnational initiative, the EUPHRESCO network, and by extension also the whole Plant Health community (through EPPO and international publications). In particular the individual NPPOs will be targeted as much as possible, to help them setting and prioritizing on-site diagnostics.