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Molecular Genetics

The scientists working in Diagnostics have a wide range of expertise in Real time PCRmolecular biology, diagnostics & research, supported by a custom-built molecular genetics suite providing the highest standard in biosecurity and quality utilising separation of processes and the most up-to-date equipment.

The Molecular Genetics team is fully equipped to carry out automated nucleic acid extraction, conventional and real-time PCR assays and sequencing and in addition to providing a statutory and commercial diagnostic service, they offer virus typing for virulence characterisation and confirmation of isolations from bacterial and viral pathogens. We also have access to next generation sequencing technology.

We have UKAS ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for a wide range of real-time PCR analyses for fish, mollusc and crustacean diseases including:

We continually develop and improve our methodologies and add to our range of analyses to meet industry and legislative requirements. We also have UKAS Flexible Scope accreditation to allow quick validation of new assays.

The group participates in EU, UK and international proficiency testing for the Sequencing and sequencing analysisdetection of viral and bacterial diseases to ensure that high quality standards are maintained. We also have experience in organising proficiency tests.

Molecular Genetics Suite

Within the molecular genetics suite, scientists have access to a wide range of the most up-to-date technologies and equipment for genetic analysis.

Fully Automated RNA/DNA Nucleic Acid Extraction

Fully automated nucleic acid purification from a wide range of starting materials including tissue, cells and supernatant. High-quality nucleic acids are available for use in a number of downstream applications such as QPCR, RT-QPCR and Sequencing.

Real-time PCR

The laboratory has two Roche Lightcycler® 480s and one Roche® 96 plate based PCR platforms for gene detection and gene expression analysis. Real-time PCR is an ideal approach for pathogen screening.


We are experienced in sequencing of conventional PCR product and subsequent data analysis. We also have access to next generation sequencing technology based at the Freshwater Laboratory.

Accreditation and Assay Validation

The Diagnostic Group has UKAS ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation for a wide range of real-time PCR analyses for fish, shellfish and crustacean diseases detailed in our commercial testing brochure.

We would be pleased to receive any queries at MSSAMEDiagnosticGroup@gov.scot.