Serological relationships between plant viruses within six different taxonomic groups were studied by means of the double antibody sandwich form of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). This technique was very sensitive not only for the detection of low concentrations of viruses, but also for the differentiation of closely related antigens. With some viruses, e.g. Andean potato latent virus, the specificity of the test was so great that conjugates prepared to one strain failed to detect other serologically closely related strains. With other viruses and with host proteins the cross-reactivity was broader, but distant and even intermediate serological relationships between viruses were usually not detected. The great specificity of ELISA is mainly caused by the behaviour of the conjugated antibodies. The binding of conjugated antibodies was completely inhibited by simultaneously added native antibodies. Antibodies from very early bleedings were not suitable for ELISA.


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