16th Meeting of the Panel on Diagnostics in Bacteriology

Sofia, 2011-10-24/26


The Panel on Diagnostics in Bacteriology met in Sofia at the kind invitation of the Central Laboratory for Plant Quarantine, part of the Bulgarian Food Safety Agency. This was the third joint meeting with the European Association of Phytobacteriologists (EAP).


The Panel continued its work on the preparation of diagnostic protocols. To date, 16 Diagnostic Protocols for bacterial diseases, and 2 General standards on Bacteriology techniques have been published.


The following protocols (in preparation) were reviewed by the Panel:

  • Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae
  • Xanthomonas vesicatoria (see new scope below)
  • Citrus greening (‘Candidatus Liberibacter spp.’)
  • Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. allii

Participants - View more pictures  


The Panel agreed that the protocol on Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae should be revised after the results of the test performance study are available. The Panel agreed with the suggested modification of the scope of the protocol on Xanthomonas vesicatoria to ‘Xanthomonas spp. causing bacterial spot of tomato and sweet pepper’. The Panel agreed that more details of performance criteria should be added to the protocol on Citrus greening, that information should be added on the testing of vectors and that the protocol needs to be aligned to the format in the instructions for authors. The Panel agreed that revised versions of these 3 protocols should be prepared for the end of January, reviewed by the Panel via e-mail consultation, and then sent for country consultation in early 2012 if possible. 

The Panel agreed that the EPPO Secretariat should discuss with the author of the protocol on Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. allii whether they insist on patenting the primers. It was agreed that the Panel should review this protocol and send comments to the EPPO Secretariat to discuss these with the author. 

The following protocols (revisions) were reviewed by the Panel:

  • Erwinia amylovora
  • Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis


The Panel discussed the proposed revision of the protocol on Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis, and the numerous comments made on it by the members of the Panel, in particular the Panel discussed: the objectives of the revision (to revise seed testing methods); the 2 procedures proposed (it was agreed to state that these have been independently validated but that equivalence has not been shown); the media used (both the new semi-selective media and the non-selective media to be included); the tests used; and the need for spiking. Specific members of the Panel agreed to revise different sections of the protocol, following the decisions made at the meeting, and it was agreed that if these sections could be received and compiled in January then this protocol could be sent for country consultation in early 2012.

The Panel agreed that a revised version of the protocol on Erwinia amylovora should be prepared, and that performance criteria should be added, and that this should be sent for country consultation in 2012.



The improvements to the EPPO database on diagnostic expertise were presented (links to accreditation certificates; inclusion of technical auditors and technical experts). 

The latest version of the EPPO database Plant Quarantine data Retrieval system (PQR) was presented to the Panel along with the work towards the EPPO Global database. This work was very warmly received.

A presentation of the work done in bacteriology as part of the QBOL project was made by Ms Bergsma-Vlami.


Next meeting 

The next meeting of the Panel on Bacterial Diseases is scheduled for 2012-10-20/23 in Angers (FR), at the kind invitation of ANSES, Plant Health Laboratory.