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​​Technology Transfer: From The Lab To The Diagnostician’s Bench Series: High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS)

Part 2 -​ International Guidelines and Practical Examples

Broadcasting: March 3rd | 10:30 am Central
Price: Free for APS members, $49 for nonmembers
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​This webinar is part of the upcoming APS 2021 special session Technology Transfer: From The Lab To The Diagnostician's Bench. The we​binars emphasize on use and application of HTS in diagnostics and beyond. Professionals from various sectors involved in detecting pathogens and pests and delivering diagnostic results to prevent, monitor, and manage plant problems will benefit from attending. Plant diagnostics need to be supported by validated methods to underpin scientific credibility to the ever-changing environment that our stakeholders encounter. Timely and successful implementation of accurate diagnostics methods is a crucial part of any surveillance system for plant disease and, ultimately, food security derived from healthy plants.​

​Webinar Summary

We will discuss three key challenges for improving the reliability of HTS technologies for plant pathogen detection in research or diagnostics settings: proper validation, use of relevant controls and contamination burden management. These challenges have been collectively addressed by 54 scientists through the development of international guidelines in the frame of Valitest, a EU-funded project. The presentation will underline the key messages in the guidelines, providing a toolkit for scientists aiming to improve the reliability of plant pest detection by HTS. In addition, we will show the UK experience of using HTS in plant health and efforts, to build a validation framework. One of the current issues in interpreting HTS data is lack of reference sequence and biological data on the effects of specific viruses. It will also look at the efforts to sequence historic collections of plant viruses as this provides reference sequence and also allows this new sequence to be tied to old biological data​.

Meet the Presenters

Sebastien Massart is an associated professor at Liege University in Belgium. Before, he has worked during 6 years in a private company developing high throughput sequencing (HTS) services for diagnostics under ISO17015 accreditation. He coordinated a networking project involving more than 200 scientists and focused on the use of HTS technologies to study and detect plant viruses. He has coordinated the writing of international guidelines for the diagnostic use of HTS technologies for plant pest diagnostics in the frame of VALITEST project (www.valitest.eu). Part of his research activities are focusing on overcoming the challenges of validation, controls and contamination detection for HTS technologies in order  to foster their reliable use in research and diagnostics​.


Ian Adams is a researcher at Fera Science Ltd, previously a government agency, but now a private company part owned by the UK government. He develops molecular diagnostics for the detection of invasive pests and diseases on plants and related produce in support of UK biosecurity. For the last ten years much of the focus of this work has been on the use of sequencing technology to allow rapid, untargeted detection of plant pathogens and these techniques are now regularly deployed to protect UK agriculture and biodiversity​.