The Scorpion assay is a PCR identification using target sequences from microorganisms found in wine. Multiple sequences can be targeted in order to look for a particular organism. In the Scorpion analysis the primer and probes are combined to improve the detection of the amplification from PCR. The PCR is performed in closed tubes which allow for monitoring of the samples during PCR itself (the probe fluoresces), and eliminates the need for manipulation of the samples afterwards. Overall it allows for a quicker analysis that is just as sensitive as traditional PCR.
Application in Wine Microbiology:
The scorpion analysis can be used to detect wine spoilage organisms such as Brettanomyces, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, etc. It can be used at any time during the winemaking process, and can be tailored as either a general assay or to look for a specific organism. The process is trademarked and in general will have to be contracted out to a wine analysis laboratory.
- ETS Laboratories. 2009. ETS Scorpion™ Detection of Spoilage Organisms.http://www.etslabs.com/assets/Technical%20Bulletin%20-%20Scorpion.pdf.
- Ippolito, A., F. Nigro, and L. Schena. 2002. Identiﬁcation and detection of Rosellinia necatrix by conventional and real-time Scorpion-PCR. European Journal of Plant Pathology 108: 355–366.
- Carters, R., J. Ferguson, R. Gaut, P. Ravetto, N. Thelwell, and D. Whitcombe. 2008. Design and Use of Scorpions Fluorescent Signaling Molecules. Methods in Molecular Biology 429: 99-115.