AbstractBlack raspberry necrosis virus (BRNV) reaches only very low concentrations in herbaceous plants and is difficult to maintain in culture. However, in a mixed culture with an unrelated virus, Solanum nodiflorum mottle (SNMV), in the genus Sobemovirus, the concentration of BRNV particles increases about 1000-fold. In attempts to produce monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) to BRNV for diagnostic use, purified virus particles from the mixed virus culture were used as immunogen and the resultant antibodies screened against cultures of SNMV alone, BRNV+SNMV and healthy plant extracts. None of the virus-specific MAbs obtained in this way was specific to BRNV but six were specific to SNMV. Although the original objective was not achieved, the SNMV MAbs were characterised and used to study serological properties of SNMV and other Sobemoviruses. Characterisation of the six SNMV MAbs showed that four were IgG3, one IgG1 and the other IgG2b. SNMV was detected by all six MAbs in ELISA, by five in Western blotting, by three in agarose gel double diffusion tests, but only one was suitable for trapping virus particles in immuno-electron microscopy (IEM). In Western blotting using virus in sap extracts of Nicotiana clevelandii, each of the five MAbs detected a single major band of Mrc. 31 000 in sap containing SNMV, and additional bands of lower mass attributed to degradation of coat protein. In various serological tests, no cross-reactions were detected between SNMV and seven other viruses from the genus Sobemovirus. However, in IEM but not in Western blotting, significant cross-reactions were observed between SNMV and Velvet tobacco mottle virus, another species from the genus Sobemovirus. The significance of these different findings is discussed.