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Poster: Biology and Disease Management: Regulatory Plant Pathology


National Seed Health Accreditation Pilot Program: monitoring seed health of seeds imported into the United States
T. BRUNS (1), G. Munkvold (2), A. McMellen-Brannigan (3), R. Dunkle (4) (1) Iowa State University Seed Science Center, U.S.A.; (2) Iowa State University, U.S.A.; (3) USDA-APHIS, U.S.A.; (4) American Seed Trade Association, U.S.A.

The risk of introducing plant pathogens into new areas by seed movement is a critical issue in agriculture. Part of the mission of USDA-APHIS is to protect U.S. agriculture from foreign pathogens. In order to help fulfill this mission, a pilot program, the U.S. National Seed Health Accreditation Pilot Program (NSHAPP), has been authorized by USDA-APHIS. NSHAPP is a voluntary program for seed importers that is administered by the National Seed Health System at Iowa State University Seed Science Center in Ames, IA. NSHAPP aims to prevent the introduction of plant pathogens into the United States by organizing the testing of imported seed. The scope of program focuses on cucumber green mottle mosaic virus (CGMMV) in cucumber, melon and watermelon seed. CGMMV causes severe disease of cucurbit crops, and was first detected in the U.S. in 2013 in California field production. Testing for CGMMV under NSHAPP is done by an ELISA method validated by the Int. Seed Testing Assoc. Participants report data on tested seedlots monthly, but positive seed tests must be reported immediately. Positive seedlots must be destroyed or re-exported. This program represents a proactive approach to reducing the risk of pathogen introduction in imported seed and demonstrates effective collaboration between seed importers and USDA-APHIS. Successful implementation of the pilot program may lead to expansion of voluntary testing and reporting to include other pathogens in imported seed.