7th Meeting of the EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology
The EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology met by videoconference. The planned face-to-face meeting was cancelled as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. 35 experts participated including Panel members, members of drafting teams of specific protocols, VALITEST TPS organizers, and two PhD Students from the project INEXTVIR
Revised EPPO Diagnostic Protocols reviewed during the meeting
The Panel reviewed 5 revised Diagnostic Protocols.
PM 7/032 Plum pox potyvirus
The results of the two Test Performance Studies (TPS) on Plum pox potyvirus organized in the framework of the EU project ‘Validation of diagnostic tests to support plant health (VALITEST)’ were presented. The main text of the revised Diagnostic Protocol was reviewed during the Panel meeting. The main discussions focussed on the selection of the tests to include in the Diagnostic Protocol. The Diagnostic protocol will be finalized by a drafting team composed by experts from Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Belgium. The revised version of the Diagnostic Protocol will be sent to the Panel for review and then sent for country consultation.
PM 7/031 Citrus tristeza virus
The results of the Test Performance Study (TPS) on Citrus tristeza virus organized in the framework of the VALITEST project were presented. The Panel reviewed the main text of the draft Diagnostic Protocol that was aligned with the IPPC Diagnostic Protocol. The discussion focussed on the use of biological indexing for pest identification and on the possibility of distinguishing EU and non-EU strains (as requested in the EU regulation). The Panel agreed that more work was needed on the analysis of the data from the TPS (in order to select the tests to be recommended in the Diagnostic Protocol) and on the identification section.
PM 7/030 Beet necrotic yellow vein virus
The Panel revised the draft Diagnostic Protocol on Beet necrotic yellow vein virus prepared by the drafting team composed by experts from ANSES (FR) Fera (GB) and NVWA (NL). Information on the identification of pathotypes and resistance breaking strains of BNYVV was deleted from the Diagnostic Protocol that now focusses on the tests that detect all strains. A new flow-diagram was prepared that covers the testing of symptomatic plants and soil root washing. The Diagnostic Protocol was sent for country consultation in mid-December 2020.
PM 7/049 Tomato ringspot virus
The revision of the Diagnostic Protocol on Tomato ringspot virus was delayed due to the difficulty in gathering information on molecular tests. The Panel discussed whether the Standard should be withdrawn or whether it should be revised with limited details. The Panel decided that the lead author from JKI (DE) should continue to work on the revision of this Diagnostic Protocol using the information available on molecular tests.
PM 7/113 Pepino mosaic virus
The revision of the Diagnostic Protocol on Pepino mosaic virus was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and work on more urgent Diagnostic Protocols (i.e. the Diagnostic Protocol on Tomato brown rugose fruit virus). The lead author proposed to start working on the revision in 2021 with the help of the EPPO Secretariat.
New EPPO Diagnostic Protocols reviewed during the meeting
‘Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium’
A draft Diagnostic Protocol on ‘Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium’ prepared by a drafting team composed of experts from ANSES (FR), UNIMI (IT), and NIB (SI) was presented. The Diagnostic Protocol was prepared on the basis of the results of the TPS organised in the framework of the Euphresco project 2017-F-234 ‘Set up of reliable detection protocols for the specific identification of 'Candidatus Phytoplasma phoenicium' (DIPCAPP )’. The main discussion focussed on the flow diagram, the sample preparation and on the number of tests needed to confirm a diagnosis. The revised version of the Diagnostic Protocol prepared during the Panel meeting was sent for country consultation in mid-December 2020.
A generic diagnostic protocol on Begomoviruses is in the work programme of the Panel and several activities conducted on Begomoviruses were presented. The results of a Proficiency Test (PT) on Tomato leaf curl New Delhi virus, organised in the framework of the activities of the European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Virology by CREA (IT), were presented. The EURL partner NIB (SI) will also organize a PT on Begomoviruses in 2021 and preliminary work on this PT was presented. The results of the Euphresco project 2016-A-212 ‘Assessment of a generic method for the detection of Begomoviruses (BegomoVal )’ led by ANSES (FR) will be available early in 2021 and will provide the basis for the development of the Diagnostic Protocol. The drafting team composed of experts from IVIA (ES), ANSES (FR), CREA (IT) and NIB (SI) was confirmed, and a draft Diagnostic Protocol will be discussed by the drafting team by teleconference in early 2021.
Horizontal Standard on mechanical inoculation
A draft Horizontal Standard on mechanical inoculation prepared by experts from NRC-NPPO (NL) was presented to the Panel. The Panel reviewed the main text and the appendices of the draft Diagnostic Protocol. The main discussion focussed on the scope of the Standard, the selection and inoculation of test plants and the positive controls needed for confirmation. The revised version of the Standard prepared during the Panel meeting will be sent for country consultation by the first quarter of 2021.
Future priorities for revision and future programme for Standards
Cucumber vein yellowing virus
The COVID-19 pandemic delayed work on the revision of the Diagnostic Protocol on Cucumber vein yellowing virus, but it was confirmed that a revision was necessary. A drafting team composed of experts from ANSES (FR) and CREA (IT) will prepare a draft revision that will be sent to the Panel by 2021-10.
Tomato brown rugose fruit virus
The results of the Test Performance Study (TPS) on Tomato brown rugose fruit virus organized in the framework of the VALITEST project were presented. The Panel discussed extensively the results of this TPS. The Panel also discussed the possibilities for including new tests. The drafting team composed of experts from NRC-NPPO (NL), FERA (UK), JKI (DE), CREA (IT) and NIB (SI) will work on a revision of the ToBRFV diagnostic protocol considering the results of the VALITEST and ongoing Euphresco TPS as well as additional validation data that will be communicated to the EPPO Secretariat.
The Euphresco projects of interest to the EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology were briefly presented. The Panel was informed that a new round of consultations to identify the 2021 Euphresco research topics for transnational collaboration was initiated on
The results of the Test Performance Study (TPS) on Tomato spotted wilt virus organized in the framework of the VALITEST project were presented.
Next Panel meeting
The next meeting of the Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology will be held in the Spring 2022.
The composition of the EPPO Panel on Diagnostics in Virology and Phytoplasmology can be found on the EPPO website.