Phytosanitairy measurements are required by EU Directives to prevent the spread of new potato pathogens from South America into the European Union. The collection of wild and primitive potato species is maintained in the form of botanical seeds. Therefore only true seed transmittable diseases from the quarantine list need to be screened for. Andean potato mottle virus (APMV) is not transmitted by true seed.
July 1997 the European Commission has put Potato Yellowing Virus (PYV) new on the quarantine list and removed Arracacha virus B from it. However, 3 years later Arracacha virus B is on the list again and PYV removed (Council Directive 2000/29/EC). This EC directive on Plant Health is available in several languages. The directive was included into the Plant Health Regulations for the Netherlands. Information on Plant Passport obligations in the Netherlands is provided by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation.
All plants used for rejuvenation are tested by the NVWA (Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority [till 2009 Plantenziektenkundige Dienst]) in Wageningen. At the subsequent regeneration, botanical seeds are produced meeting the zero tolerance for quarantine diseases. Following pathogens are being tested:
- Potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) using "Return" - Polyacrylamide Gel electrophoresis (Huttinga et al., 1987; Roenhorst et al., 2000; Verhoeven et al. 2004; Verhoeven 2010), with a maximum bulking rate of 5 (till the year 2000, a bulking rate of upto 25).
True seed transmitted viruses: 1995-1999 using the indicator plants Chenopodium quinoa (or C. amaranticolor), Nicotiana oxidentalis-P1 and N. bentamiana, maximum bulking rate 5. Starting in 2000 in 2-fold C. quinoa (or C. amaranticolor) and in 4-fold N. hesperis-67A (or N. oxidentalis-P1) (Verhoeven & Roenhorst, 2003). These procedures include screening for:
For the test on quarantine viruses leaves are picked when the potato plants are about 25 cm tall. Three weeks after inoculation of the indicator plants the results will be available. In case of symptoms on the indicator plants the potato plants are retested serologically. It is assumed that the indicator plants will also show symptoms on infections with unknown potato viruses. Further on, all potato plants are visually inspected.
Till 1994 the German-Dutch Potato Collection was maintained in Braunschweig, Germany. From 1988 - 1994 the screening for quarantine viruses was carried out by the Plant Protection Service of the federal state Niedersachsen (Pflanzenschutzamt Hannover) using ELISA for APLV (Col, Hu, 300), APMV (B,C,H), AVB-O, PVT and TRSV-Ca (= PBRSV). The antibodies were produced by the Institute for Biochemistry and Plant Virology of the Federal Biological Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA), Braunschweig. By the way, APMV (Andean Potato Mottle Virus) is NOT transmitted via TPS (botanical seed).
1986-1987 leaf samples were sent to the Dutch Plant Protection Service in Wageningen and tested with the Latex-agglutination test on APLV & PBRSV. Additionally, indicator plants (C. quinoa, C. amaranticolor & N. clevelandii) were used to screen for APLV, PBRSV, PVT and 'unknown' virusses.
For most recent true seed import demands of different countries download a PDF file per country from NVWA (click on "exportland"), only available in Dutch. Several countries do not require an import permit (incl. an adapted Plant Health Certificate) for material imported for research purposes. Examples of some foreign import requirements: Canada, Chile.
For importing potato germplasm in the Netherlands see (in Dutch): NVWA-import-vergunning, including a link to the import-request-form.
Within the EU, also the user needs to supply a plant passport, when distributing this germplasm or derived material to other users in the EU, according to Council Directive 2000/29/EC (see page 87).