The importance of virus testing


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15 September 2020
The importance of virus testing

FERA recently held a potato virus testing webinar in which the company’s Virologist, Dr Adrian Fox, answered questions about identifying viruses and what enabling action can be taken. Here, we highlight those questions and the answers he supplied.

During the webinar, he touched on PVYn becoming such a huge issue in the UK, explaining that PVYNTN first emerged in Eastern Europe in the 1980s and have gradually become the predominant serotypes across Europe. Whilst there is no clear single reason why this has become the predominant 'type', there have been a number of supporting arguments put forward.

He said there are two key considerations. Firstly, these types appear to 'out-compete' the O and N strains because they are translocated and transmitted more readily, and secondly there is evidence that these strains are more subtle in their expression in a range of varieties, so will have built up largely unnoticed by comparison to other more obvious strains.

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Further details about this and other virus questions raised at the webinar can be found in the next edition of Potato Review. If you are not already subscribed, visit