This open access book in the field of plant pest detection shows a constant demand in development and improvement of fast and reliable detection tools, especially for high-priority pests. This open access book describes and summarizes the whole process of the organization of test performance study (TPS) for these tools. The outcome of TPS, obtained through the evaluation of the performance of one or more diagnostic tests by several laboratories on defined samples, is the finding of the best performing test/s for particular pest and for specific uses. Nowadays the intensification of worldwide trade and associated controls increases the need for quality assurance accreditation and harmonization of laboratories practices. Therefore, such studies are very important, but, non-existent. Considering those facts, our goal was to develop guidelines, by using the data and experiences of involved partners, for further TPS in the field of plant health. Developed guidelines could be easily transferable to other microbiology fields.
Ana Vucurovic is phytopathologist focused on the research of virus and fungal diseases of vegetables, field crops and ornamentals. She obtained her degree at the University of Belgrade-Faculty of Agriculture. Her main activities involves detection, identification and characterization of plant viruses and fungi, including quarantine and emerging pathogens. Her main research interest are virus disease of tomato, tobacco and cucurbits, and fungal diseases caused by Phytophthora, Fusarium and Alternaria species. She is involved in the WP1 of the Valitest project.
Nataša Mehle is a biologist, with a specialisation in novel diagnostic methods development for the detection of new emergent plant pathogens, the biology of plant viruses, viroids, and phytoplasma, and also interactions between plants and their pathogens. She is a responsible analyst of plant viruses, viroids and phytoplasma for the official detection of plant pathogens. She is also involved in research and detection services for samples from other countries. She is an active member of the EPPO Panel on viruses and phytoplasmas and she is working in the European reference laboratory for viruses, viroids and phytoplasmas. She led several training courses in the diagnosis of viruses, viroids and phytoplasma, and she was involved as a lecturer in several real-time PCR workshops in plant pathology (organized by NIB and Biosistemika). She has also experiences in the management and organization of test performance studies and proficiency tests for international audience. She is involved in the WP1 of the Valitest project.
Géraldine Anthoine is a PhD-engineer is a senior scientist and nematologist. She initially worked on virology. She has a long experience, more than 20 years, in laboratory activities (analysis, evaluation of tests, drafting of operating procedures …) in the framework of National Refence Laboratory’s mandate. She is also involved in standards development at national, regional (EPPO) and international (FAO – IPPC – TPDP) levels. She also acts as technical assessor for national accreditation bodies and she is working in the European reference laboratory for parasitic nematodes. Géraldine Anthoine is the coordinator of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Valitest. The main objective of the Valitest project is to prepare foundation for validation and test performance studies for existing and new diagnostic methodologies in cooperation with the stakeholders involved.
Tanja Dreo is a microbiologist, with specialization in bacteriology. She is a researcher and project manager of bacteriological laboratory at the Department of Biotechnology and Systems Biology. Her activities cover research and development for official diagnostics of plant diseases using a range of methods, developing and validating novel detection methods e.g. real-time PCR, digital PCR and LAMP, metrology related to DNA detection based bio-analyses, high-throughput analyses, quality assurance and studies on bacterial diversity using MLVA and phenotypic typing. She is active in international research projects, recently leading tasks on E. coli on-site detection within the DECATHLON project and metrological aspects of DNA detection within the Bio-SITrace (Joint Research Project – EURAMET; ). Her current focus includes organization of international proficiency tests in plant health, improvements of reference and control materials, trainings and data management. She is an active member of the EPPO Panel on bacterial diseases and she is working in the European reference laboratory for bacteriology.
Maja Ravnikar is a biologist, with a specialization in biology of plant pathogens, development of novel diagnostic methods for detection of viruses and bacteria and innovative approaches in biotechnology including viruses characterization. She is Director of the National Institute of Biology (NIB), Slovenia. For twenty years she leads authorized diagnostic laboratory for determination of microorganisms for the Phytosanitary Administration (MAFF), inspection and she is closely involved in contract research with high-tech companies. She is a member of national and international plant protection advisory bodies and expert groups such as Panel on diagnostics and quality assurance in the framework of EPPO (European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization), she is the president of International working group on legumes and vegetable viruses – IWGLVV, and she is working in the European reference laboratory for viruses, viroids and phytoplasmas. Maja Ravnikar is the coordinator of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 MSCA-ITN INEXTVIR and Work Package 1 leader of the Valitest project.