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PCR Disease Testing

We believe that the risk of health problems in a seed stock can be best managed if the level of disease organisms on the tuber is known. This information can then be used with a range of other factors such as variety, intended production location, storage regimes etc, to assess the degree of risk associated with disease problems which could cause tuber breakdown or surface blemish diseases. As the level of return from the ware crop is dependant on yield and quality, there are a range of plant diseases which can affect crop profitability.

Two years ago we initiated a research programme which examined the role that PCR (polymerised Chain Reaction) testing could play in providing an understanding of the level of disease present by providing accurate diagnosis of the presence of even latent diseases.

Our scientific partners in the project are SCRI and CSL who have leading expertise in plant pathology and molecular biology - necessary aspects if the programme is to succeed.

We believe this project will produce changes in the way that we approach seed health and will contribute to the competitiveness of the whole of the Scottish seed industry. Look for updates soon as the project moves into its final year.

This project is grant aided by the Department of the Environment of Rural Affairs whose help is gratefully acknowledged by all of the project's partners.

PCR Disease Testing

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