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programme SharCo

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Mustafa Kemal University - Turkey

Identification and characterization of stone and pome fruit viruses, phytoplasmas and viroids

The Plant Protection Department of Agriculture Faculty of Mustafa Kemal University was established in 1992. The Department aims to strengthen training of undergraduate and post graduate students, the future scientists and specialized professionals in the area of Plant Protection. It aims to maximize practical experiences, continue to the introduction and expansion of modern Plant Protection practices to the region and the development of solutions to existing and potential Plant Protection problems. In the virology section, the staff is mainly working on identification and characterization of stone and pome fruit viruses, phytoplasmas and viroids. Since 1993 this group is working on identification and characterization of sharka disease in Turkey.

Key persons involved

  • Prof. Dr. Kadriye Çağlayan
    Research plant virologist since 1981 and also lecteur from 1990 in Plant Pathology Department of different universities in Turkey. Expertise in virus,viroid and phytoplasma diseases of citrus, stone and pome fruits, olives, figs and grapevines. Working on sharka disease since 1993.

  • Assist. Prof. Dr. Çiğdem Ulubaş Serçe
    Research plant virologist, expert in detection and characterization of plant virus and phytoplasmas esp. infecting stone and pome fruits.

  • Assist. Prof. Dr. Mona Gazel
    Research plant virologist, expert in virus, viroid and phytoplasma diseases infecting pome and stone fruits and grapevines.


  • Çağlayan, K., Polat, A., Ulubaş, Ç., Voight, E., Gazel, M., Kölber, M. 2004. Tolerance of Turkish plum and apricot varieties to plum pox disease. European Meeting ’04 on Plum Pox. Rogow-Skierniewice, Poland, September 17:1-4.

  • Ulubaş Ç. 2003. Detection of Plum pox virus (PPV) prevalence in stone fruit trees of Turkey by RT-PCR. J. Turkish Phytopathology, 32: 107-114.

  • Ulubaş Serçe, Ç. And Rosner A., 2006. Molecular typing of Turkish apple chlorotic leaf spot virus isolates based on partial coat protein gene. Phytopathol. Mediterr. 45: 117-125.

  • Gazel, M., C. Ulubas-Serce and K. Caglayan, 2006. Detection of Hop stunt viroid by RT-PCR in the East Mediterranean Region of Turkey. XXth International Symposium on Virus and Virus-like Diseases of Temperate Fruit Crops, Antalya 22-26 May, 2006.p.143.

  • Asma, B.M., Ozturk, K. 2005 Analysis of Morphological, Pomological and Yield Characteristics of Some Apricot Germplasm in Turkey. Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution, 52, 305–313

Material resources

The Virology Department in Antakya has five laboratories which are very well equipped for virus detection and characterization and also has got one greenhouse (500m2) and three air-conditioned growth rooms. A University Central Laboratory which includes transmission and scanning electronic microscopes, is also accessible for virology studies. Alara company has got 250 ha stone fruit orchards and 100 ha of nursery, which can be used for monitoring of sharka disease in Turkey.