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

​​Part 3 - HTS for Plant Certification and Expedited Release of Quarantined Propagative Plant Material​​​

Broadcast Date: March 10th | 10:30 am Central

View the Webinar


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​

​​High throughput sequencing (HTS), also known as next generation sequencing, provides a rapid, comprehensive and efficient approach for viral pathogen identification. In addition to conventional detection methods, HTS is now an important component of routine testing procedures at National Clean Plant Centers for plant material citification and quarantine import programs.  When HTS is used in conjunction with current conventional methods, growers of certified and registered material can initiate propagative increase and virus elimination programs with new accessions years earlier. While HTS remains a powerful new technology with significant benefits for plant certification and quarantine programs, there are challenges to consider. Since detecting a given pathogen sequence does not mean that pathogen is responsible for the disease, establishing biological significance for viruses identified via HTS analysis is necessary. In addition, efficient sample preparation methods for large scale application and bioinformatics algorithms to efficiently separate pathogen and host sequences must be developed, validated, and standardized across laboratories​.

​Meet the Presenter

Dr. Maher Al Rwahnih, Director of Laboratories at Foundation Plant Services at UC Davis. After receiving his PhD in Plant Virology in 2004 from the University of Bari, Italy, Maher Al Rwahnih joined the Foundation Plant Services (FPS) divis​ion of the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis. At FPS his team is working on the development of diagnostic tools for the detection and analysis of plant viruses. Dr. Al Rwahnih is an expert in the diagnosis and control of infectious diseases of fruit and nut trees and grapevines with 90 journal articles to his credit. His area of specialization is in the etiology, molecular characterization and molecular diagnostics of grapevine and fruit tree virus diseases, phytosanitary regulations, clean stock certification programs. Dr. Al Rwahnih is active in California Department of Food and Agriculture Registration and Certification program, and in the National Plant Diagnostic Network.​