Other Initiatives and Services
The Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN)
GRIN is the online database for all plant accessions contained with the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) of the Agricultural Research Service within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The NPGS acquires, characterizes, preserves, documents, and distributes to scientists and educators plant genetic resources of crop species and wild relatives important for food and agricultural production. GRIN contains seed of several differential hosts which are sets of plant accessions used to define races of plant pathogens by their known susceptible and resistant reactions. Differential sets for particular plant pathogens such as those contributed by the seed industry are assigned an identifying International Seed Federation number (ISF 1, ISF 2, etc.). Seed lots of differential hosts identified by an ISF number in GRIN have been tested for the proper susceptible or resistant reaction to the pathogen races. Plant pathologists can obtain information on the differential sets available in GRIN and request seed of differential sets from NPGS for race reaction testing at the GRIN website (see www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgs/html/desc.pl?279001).
The International Bremia Evaluation Board (IBEB)
IBEB is a joint initiative of lettuce breeding companies in France and the Netherlands, the Dutch inspection service (Naktuinbouw) and the French National Seed Station (GEVES). IBEB aims to maintain and promote a well-defined and internationally agreed system of race denomination and to streamline the process of identifying new races of Bremia lactucae on the basis of annually updated information about the evolution of the pathogen in response to resistance in lettuce varieties. Companies provide information on the genetic background of varieties while Naktuinbouw and GEVES serve as independent testing facilities.
The International Working Group on Peronospora farinosa (IWGP)
IWGP was set up through the Dutch seed association Plantum NL by Naktuinbouw and companies trading spinach seed. It is supported by research centres in the USA, including the University of Arkansas and the University of California Cooperative Extension. IWGP continuously monitors the development of new races of downy mildew on spinach globally by testing uncommon field isolates on a fixed, common host differential set of varieties that contain the full range of available resistances, and denominate new races as and when necessary. IWGP aims to promote a consistent and clear communication between the seed industry, growers, and other interested parties about all resistance-breaking races that are persistent enough to survive over several years, occur in a wide area, and cause a significant economic impact. (See www.naktuinbouw.nl/en/news-overview).
MATREF is a French national network for the production and distribution of reference material (varieties and strains) for testing vegetable varieties for disease resistance. It includes GEVES (Le Groupe d'Etude et de contrôle des Variétés et des Semences), INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research) and breeding companies and provides reference material of differential hosts and pathogen strains. The task of multiplying seed and pathogen strains is shared by seed companies and INRA. GEVES manages the network and is responsible for the distribution of seed and strains.
The Naktuinbouw-Plantum Isolate Collection
This is an initiative of Naktuinbouw in collaboration with ten Dutch vegetable seed companies who are all member of Plantum NL, the Dutch association for breeding, tissue culture and trade of seeds and young plants. The collection covers viruses, bacteria, fungi, and nematodes and is used for resistance testing in connection with variety registration trials in vegetable crops. The isolates are validated regularly through biotests on susceptible and, if possible, also on race-differentiating resistant varieties. For members of the initiative isolates are provided free of cost. Non-members can order isolates once a year for use as reference isolates in resistance testing (See www.naktuinbouw.nl/en/topic/disease-resistance-testing-naktuinbouw).
Members in this initiative organise an annual workshop to share information among companies and others about resistance testing problems and to strengthen the variety registration system by sharing their expert knowledge.
Disease resistance testing at Naktuinbouw
As resistance to diseases is important for maintaining crop health growers need reliable information about resistances when they select a variety to plant. Naktuinbouw provides information about resistance in various ways; primarily through testing for internal use, but also through offering the same tests to external clients, and last but not least by collaborating with breeders and other registration authorities on harmonisation of the test procedures, isolates and standard varieties.
For some vegetable crops information about resistance has to be included in the variety description required to define and protect a variety. For these so-called obligatory disease resistance characteristics Naktuinbouw runs resistance tests at least once a year. Companies often want to include other disease resistance claims in the official variety description. This is possible when the company protocol conforms to an official protocol published by the European Community Plant Variety Office. The company’s disease resistance claims have to be checked by Naktuinbouw in an authorized test when the variety is submitted for Plant Breeders Rights.
Parallel to the resistance tests connected with the official variety descriptions, Naktuinbouw offers disease resistance tests as a service to external clients using the same official testing protocol. (See www.naktuinbouw.nl/en/topic/disease-resistance-testing-naktuinbouw)