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Harmonization and standardization of pathogen strains for the global movement of seed.

Valerie Grimault: GEVES-SNES

<div>Consistent identification of plant pathogen strains and races used for resistance tests is a recognized need for the global seed industry. Several initiatives have been launched to achieve consistent testing results. The Harmores projects were set up to harmonize test protocols and Reference Materials (susceptible and resistant controls, host differentials and isolates). The Plantum/Naktuinbouw isolate collection in Netherlands and the MATREF (MATerial of REFerence) network in France (2002) were established in collaboration with the seed industry for the distribution of isolates and seeds of controls and differentials. MATREF also conducts the appropriate phytosanitary and functional testing against pests before distributing. Material transfer agreements, letters of authorization and special permits are sent with the reference materials. The Harmorescoll initiative, based on the above services is being proposed to develop a unified European system for the distribution of Reference Materials. There was no system in the US, which resulted in differences in strain naming between the US and Europe. The Collaboration for Plant Pathogen Strain Identification (CPPSI) was initiated in 2007 to develop a US based industry standard for the identification of plant pathogen strains and races based on sets of differentials. At the world level, the ISF Working Group on Disease Resistance Testing, is centralizing information developed by these initiatives and coordinating actions for standardization of material and naming. The working group describes differentials sets. It has set up a harmonized codification of pests and is currently setting up a position paper on how to nominate new strains and races. Examples of these initiatives will be discussed on the collaborative harmonization to facilitate the global movement of cultures/seeds.</div>

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