Diagnostic tests are based on immune-enzymatic assays developed and manufactured according to Agritest know-how in plant pathology and biotechnology. Agritest core expertise covers: plant virus maintenance and purification, development of antigenic preparations, hybridoma cell lines storage, processing of antibodies for analytical and diagnostic applications. Since 2019 the Agritest investment in R&D is certified for tax credit at the Italian Revenue Agency according to the DL 23.12.2013 n. 145, art. 3.

Plant pathogens

The primary sources of plant viruses and bacteria are made accessible to Agritest from institutional repositories according to the regulatory status of each pathogen. Infected plants, virus isolates, and bacteria strains are employed for the development of antigenic preparations, assessment of antibody specificity, and preparation of internal reference material. Quality control on the identity of the plant pathogen sources is carried out by applying molecular and ELISA tests, spectrophotometric techniques, EM observations.

Antigenic preparations

Antigenic preparations of high identity and purity are developed either from purified virus proteins, or from pathogen recombinant proteins expressed in proprietary vectors. Immunogens are obtained by implementing biochemistry methods or specific gene cloning designs. Quality control on quantity and purity of the immunogens is implemented by spectrophotometric, chromatography and electrophoretic techniques.


Polyclonal and monoclonal reagents are produced in vivo and in vitro according to the manufacturing procedures implemented at the Agritest laboratory as well as at external biotechnology services. Agritest expertise covers: development and handling of hybridoma cell line collections, FPLC chromatography techniques, antibody enzyme labeling, antibody reagents calibration against internal reference material.

Molecular probes

In addition to the immune-enzymatic technology, dot-blot DNA hybridization technique has been developed for the simultaneous detection of multiple targets in vegetables. On that regard, Agritest exploits its in-house EPO patent EP2982763 “Synthesis and use of a polyprobe for the detection of viral infections in globe artichoke”.