Diagnosing plant pathogens

Diagnosing plant pathogens

Plant material, soil, air and water should always be clean and free of undesired pathogens that can cause quarantine and quality-compromising diseases in plants.

This concerns a broad range of harmful diseases and pests including bacteria, fungi, viruses, viroids, insects and nematodes. It is imperative to detect and diagnose these organisms efficiently, quickly and reliably.

Reliable and validated detection and diagnosis techniques

Reliable and validated techniques for detection and diagnosis allow for the recognition and identification of harmful organisms. These methodologies must also be suitable for routine use by inspection services, NVWA and businesses. On-site use (in the field or in the harbour) may also prove important. The ability to distinguish between living and dead organisms has become increasingly pertinent in this regard. After all, the presence of a dead organism cannot create any further risks.

New diseases and pests

These methodologies must also be able to detect new diseases and pests so that swift and efficient action can be taken if incidents occur. It is only through knowledge and experience of the latest research methods that efficient action can be taken against notifications in the present and in the future. In order to maintain and secure the position of the Netherlands as an important trade and export country in the future, close collaboration between knowledge institutes, testing laboratories and government in the development of techniques for detection and diagnosis is necessary.

Public Private Partnership (PPP)

Wageningen UR has played an important role in the development of methodologies for the diagnostics of plan pathogens for several years.

Currently, three significant Public Private Partnership projects (PPP) are in progress in the top sector of Horticulture & Propagation Materials:

- PPP Diagnostics quarantine and quality-compromising diseases in plants

- PPP Living - Dead

- PPP On-site detection

Wageningen UR is running these projects in collaboration with the inspection services, the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) and businesses.