Disease-free planting material is essential for economically profitable and environmentally safe crop production. Production and selection of healthy seed can be ensured by testing seed for the presence of unwanted plant pathogens, as indicated in the Community Plant Health Regulations. However, harmonization and standardization of seed health testing at European level is lacking, because suitable reference material to verify the performance and the value of test methods cannot be guaranteed and variability in test results occur between laboratories, which may impede trade in seeds within the EU.
Availability of reference material will promote intercomparisons between seed testing
laboratories to verify the performance of currently available and new seed health tests, will ensure the accuracy of test methods and reliability of test results and will enable harmonization at the European level by increasing the level of agreement between laboratories.
The general objective of this project is the development and implementation of reference materials to be used in seed health testing for the presence of harmful bacteria.
Short description of the project
Reference materials are encapsulated, preserved bacterial preparations containing a specified quantity of viable bacterial cells of a well described strain.
Candidates reference materials will be developed for four seedborne bacteria that cause considerable financial losses and which fall under plant health regulations of the EU, i.e. Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis (causing bacterial canker of tomato), Erwinia stewartii (causing Stewart's bacterial wilt of maize), Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola (causing halo blight of beans) and Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris (causing black rot of cabbage).
The reference material will have to be stable, its use will have to be reproducible and suitable for quantitative testing.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
CV35 9EF Wellesbourne