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POSTERS: Pathogen detection, quantification and diagnosis

Connecting diagnostic labs with a system for sharing protocols and maintaining version control
Joseph LaForest - Southern IPM Center / UGA. Kevin Ong- Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Carrie Lapaire Harmon- Univ of Florida PDC

Diagnostic labs are the foundation for protecting agriculture from new pathogens and providing reliable information to direct effective pest management decisions. To date, there has been no formal system for sharing protocols between labs within the National Plant Diagnostic Network. While many labs are willing to share diagnostic procedures and resources like the online Diagnostician’s Cookbook exist, the updating of diagnostic procedures and notifications of updates requires significant time and may not happen efficiently. This can lead to improvements not being relayed in a timely fashion and makes it difficult to compare what protocols are used by different diagnostic labs.

A new system has been launched to facilitate communication between diagnostic labs as well as other groups providing testing protocols. All protocols published in the system are available for adoption by any participating labs. As updates are published by the originating lab, all adopting groups are notified of the change and given the opportunity to accept the revisions or start maintaining their own version of the protocol. The system provides a forum for commenting on protocols between and within labs, public listing of protocols that a lab offers within a geographic area, and services to integrate with a lab’s data management system.