Healthy seed are key to high crop yields, underpinning European and global food security. A wide range of diseases and pests are carried by seed and as well as spreading and increasing old problems, new problems may be introduced into the European Community countries via this route.
The TESTA project will develop a range of novel methods to underpin the control of these diseases and pests, including faster, more accurate methods to assess the mode of seed transmission, economic and practical sampling approaches for the detection of low levels in large seed lots, novel and efficient generic detection methodologies, non-destructive testing methods and improved, effective and sustainable disinfection methods. Target crop and disease/pest combinations have been identified in consultation with EPPO, ISHI-ISF and ISTA. Outcomes from the project will include a comprehensive electronic database of seed transmitted diseases and pests, validated detection methods for target species, a validation protocol for assessing the efficacy of disinfection, as well as many key scientific publications. These will provide supporting methods and sources for the EU seed testing laboratories and plant health services.