Science and Advice for Scottish Agriculture (SASA) is a Division of the Scottish Government Directorate for Agriculture, Food and Rural Communities (AFRC). SASA provides expert scientific advice, technical advice, and statutory services concerning agriculture, horticulture and the environment. SASA conducts research into plant epidemiology, population dynamics, molecular genotyping and pest/pathogen diagnostics frequently in collaboration with national and international institutes. Statutory and regulatory work are performed in relation to national, European Union (EU) and other international legislation and agreements. Situated on the outskirts of Edinburgh, SASA comprises a world class laboratory, glasshouse and experimental farm facility. It consists of a community of over a hundred natural scientists with expertise ranging from botany, plant pathology, zoology, analytical chemistry, through to molecular biology.
ROLE IN THE PROJECT
SASA will be involved in the development of species-specific diagnostic assays using real-time PCR to identify psyllid species obtained from the EXAMINE network, a network of suction traps across Europe. CaLsol presence in psyllids will be tested by PCR. Diagnostic assays will be validated and a proficiency test will be organized for psyllid ID and CaLsol using molecular techniques. The diagnostic assay will provide a tool for the rapid and accurate identification of psyllids from suction traps and allow the quantification of known vectors of CaLsol in these samples. SASA will evaluate the potential of this network in the detection and monitoring of vectors. SASA will be involved in the dissemination of results at scientific conferences, grower/trade events in the UK, and the publication of results in scientific journals. SASA will also organization training events in psyllid identification for project collaborators to attend.
SG-SASA will be involved in the following work packages: WP4, WP5, WP10, WP11