Q-collect is a EU FP7 funded project which started on the 1st of October 2013 and aims to improve the status of (reference) collections important to plant health. In this framework, two Workshops were organized by the EPPO Secretariat (a partner in this project). The objective of the first Workshop (Kleinmachnow, DE) was to present the progress made after 12 months, and gather stakeholder expectations. A summary report of this first Workshop is available on the EPPO website.
The second Workshop was organized at the Plant Pathology Research Centre of the Council for agronomic research and economic analysis (CRA-PAV) in Rome. Ms Barba Head of the Plant Pathology Research Centre presented the research Centre with a special focus on activities in pathology. The overall goal of the Workshop was to present the main findings of the Q-collect European project to its stakeholders, namely representatives of collections and Heads of national plant protection laboratories within the EPPO region. The Workshop was organized in different sessions, and all presentations can be viewed here (click on the links).
The first session aimed to present why availability of reference material is important in the current regional and international plant health context.
The second session (Mr Streito (INRA, FR) and Ms Pottier (INRA, FR)) focussed on the state of the art of collections as mapped during the project.
The surveys organized (both with the collections and their users) confirmed that although there are a significant number of plant pathogen and pest collections still present within Europe, they are dispersed, widespread and of very variable quality. The main findings of the project are as follows:
During the third session (Mr Elphinstone (Fera, UK), Ms Blümel (Ages, AT) and Mr Robert (CBS, NL)) of the Workshop proposals made during the project to improve the current situation were presented.
The Workshop discussed the question of sharing of material from collections. Participants from various working collections (from Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Russia, Switzerland) considered that sharing the material in their possession was important. They were also positive that as a first step, having their information about their collections displayed through a web-portal was essential. The workshop concluded that a pilot platform including a deposit form for biological material should be developed. Collections agreed to try to complete this form (the information could also be provided to those collections which participated in the survey but did not attend the Workshop). Regarding the criteria for reference collection the Workshop welcomed that these should be reviewed by the EPPO specialised Panels on diagnostics for each group of organisms. The Workshop also recommended that the criteria proposed for the establishment of a sustainable network should also be reviewed in the EPPO Panels on diagnostics. It was also suggested that the guidelines developed within Q-collect project should be sent for information to the organizers of test performance studies (as these are laboratories sharing biological material from their collections in this framework). This will allow feedback to be gathered about the criteria proposed for the network.
During the fourth session of the Workshop, an analysis of the impact of the ‘Nagoya Protocol’ for collections was presented (Mr de Vos (UGent, BE)) as well as the White paper (Ms Edema (NVWA, NL)) prepared in the framework of the Q-collect project.
Ms Belissario explained the organisation of the collection of the Plant Pathology Research Centre including fungi, oomyctes, bacteria, viruses, and viroids and the participants had the opportunity to visit the collection.
Conclusions and recommendations
The Workshop suggested:
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