Plant Health: EURL on Bacteria & EURL on Viruses, Viroids and Phytoplasmas

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Results of the first proficiency test organized in the frame of EURL-Virology

    Saskia Bosman
    • Public
    By Saskia Bosman 197 days ago

    The first proficiency test in the frame of the EURL-Virology was organized in 2019 by the National Institute of Biology, Slovenia. The organized proficiency test focused on the detection of Grapevine flavescence dorée phytoplasma (GFDP). In total, 25 national reference laboratories (NRL) from 24 EU countries took part in the proficiency test. Twenty-three NRLs received six blind samples of plant material and ten blind samples of DNA extract, while two NRLs received only ten blind samples of DNA extract since they were not able to obtain the required Letter of Authority. The organizer made a recommendation to the NRLs to follow the EPPO diagnostic protocol for Grapevine flavescence dorée phytoplasma (PM7/079(2)). However, NRLs were allowed to use other protocols/ tests. The majority of NRLs (24/25) reported the results on time. Overall, 17 out of 23 (74 %) NRLs reported conforming results for all six samples of plant material, and 21 out of 25 (84 %) NRLs reported conforming results for all ten DNA samples. Of the eigth NRLs with non-conforming results, five NRLs scored 6 % of non-conforming results, one 19 %, one 25 % and one 44 %. Twenty-two NRLs used at least one recommended test from PM7/079(2), while three NRLs did not use any of the recommended tests. All of the latter three NRLs reported 100 % conforming results. The overall results of the proficiency test indicated that all DNA extraction procedures recommended or mentioned in PM7/079(2), including some other commercial kits for DNA extraction, are suitable for GFDP testing. Real-time PCR tests recommended in PM7/079(2) gave the most reliable results for detection of low concentrations of GFDP and the most reliable results for detection of GFDP in mixed infections.  

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