A 3-day (September 13-15, 2016) training workshop on Xylella fastidiosa detection was organised by Forest Research Agency (FR) and SG-SASA as part of their participation in POnTE and Euphresco projects. The event was funded by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) and was hosted by SG-SASA at their headquarter near Edinburgh, Scotland.
The morning of the first day was an open session directed to stakeholders, policy makers and interested parties. Dr. M. Saponari (CNR-IPSP) and Dr. V. Olivier (ANSES), from Italy and France, respectively, gave presentations on the current Xylella fastidiosa situation in their countries (distribution, susceptible hosts and symptoms). The new the EPPO diagnostic protocol PM 7/24 (2), the EU Directives and emergency control measures implemented for its containment and the implications for the UK in nursery and retail sector were then discussed in detail.
The workshop made great use of SG-SASA quarantine facilities for the 2-day dedicated to the practical training session. Fourteen participants from different UK organizations (FR, SG-SASA, FERA, RHS advisory service, RBGE, DARD, AFBI), from DAFM in the Republic of Ireland and from NVWA (The Netherlands), followed the technical demonstration on the different methodologies for sample preparation, DNA extraction, and different detection methods including direct tissue blot immunoassay (DTBIA), conventional PCR, Real time PCR and loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP). The technical session was arranged and coordinated by K. Fraser and her team at SG-SASA, A. Perez-Sierra (FR), M. Saponari (CNR-IPSP), G. Loconsole (UNIBA-DiSSPA) and V. Olivier (ANSES).
All presentations are fully available on SG-SASA website, at this link.
The diagnostic experiences shared by the trainers were invaluable and the workshop was very informative, practical and will ensure that the necessary diagnostic tools are embedded successfully in the various laboratories.