EPPO / Q-DETECT Workshop for phytosanitary inspectors
In 2010 an EU collaborative project Q-DETECT was set up. The objective of the project is to develop simple, user-friendly and robust methods for detection and monitoring of quarantine pests by inspection services. In the framework of the project it was agreed that two workshops for inspectors would be organized jointly with EPPO in 2011 and 2012 in order to present and demonstrate the tools developed and to gather feedback from potential users of these tools. This workshop in Ljubljana was the second dissemination workshop, after a first one organized in Padova in 2011.
The workshop in Ljubljana took place on 2013-02-18/21 with 72 participants from 22 countries including 30 Q-detect members. The meeting consisted of presentations of different outputs by the relevant Q-DETECT partners followed by practical sessions in small groups.
On the course of three days, participants were given details of new detection and identification methods for pests and of the progress made since the last Workshop in particular on:
- Remote sensing, through image recognition software that can be trained to recognize diseased trees, for instance larch disease, using existing satellite images, or with image acquisition through experimental, dedicated drones.
- Laser vibrometry, enabling contact-less detection of vibrations caused by wood boring insects inside tree trunks or wood packaging material.
- Automated treatment of acoustic signal, and detection of signature sounds from the wood-boring larvae of certain quarantine pests (Monochamus spp., Anoplophoraspp.)
- Laser quantification of volatiles (e.g. ethylene, nitrous oxide, etc. enabling great precision and real-time detection within user-defined systems and the detection of plant stress, diseases, or the presence of specific pests.
- Electronic qualification of volatile profiles (i.e. 'electronic nose') with the possibility for simple training - calibration of the machine to detect diseased plants, or the presence of specific pests.
- Rapid amplification and testing of DNA through LAMP (Loop amplification mediated process) and the GENIE II machine, with presentation of the smaller GENIE III machine.
- Automated insect traps with a dedicated camera remotely sending pictures of the catch for monitoring, allowing for reduced number of human trips to the trap.
- Insect growth and inspection computer modeling, with new capacities in prediction of the outcomes of insect trapping, for instance.
Phytosanitary inspectors thus had an opportunity to give collective and individual feedback to the developers of the different Q-detect techniques, helping the developers fine-tune the new techniques for future field application. Inspectors have expressed their interest to help in collecting data for certain techniques and participate in their further validation. Participants were also given details of the EPPO communication tools, as well as the ongoing EPPO activities in the area of inspection.