Seed Health Committee        
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Chair Valerie Grimault
Vice Theresa A.S. Aveling
Member Ilaria Alberti
Siham Asaad
Rouke Bakker
Stephan C. Brière
Mark Buimer
Wen-Hsin Chung
Rosa Piña González
Gary Munkvold
Nelia Nkhoma Phiri
Masatoshi Sato
Dorota Szopinska
Sandra Walker
Xiulan Xu
The Seed Health Committee (SHC) consists of 14 members from 13 countries.  Each member serves on a sub-committee within their area of expertise.  The committee is divided into working groups each having a designated leader.

The Proficiency Testing and Quality Assurance sub-committee organizes, manages and directs the Seed Health Proficiency Test program and the Quality Assurance program.  All laboratories accredited by ISTA in seed health are required to participate in proficiency tests.  Laboratories which are not ISTA accredited are welcome to participate in proficiency tests as volunteers. This group works closely with the ISTA Proficiency Test Committee and ISTA accreditation auditors. This group also collaborates with the Statistics committee to set up guidelines for the organization and statistical analysis of proficiency tests.  Guidelines can be found here.

The Method Validation sub-committee manages the SHC Method Validation Program.  This group reviews current methods for needed updates, proposes methods for new or emerging pathogens, reviews test plans for new methods or updates to current methods and reviews method validation reports.  All Seed Health Methods are periodically reviewed and updated and revalidated as necessary.  This group cooperates with the International Seed Health Initiative (ISHI) vegetable working group to design new methods and organize validation test rounds. This group also collaborates with the Statistics committee to set up guidelines for the organization and statistical analysis of comparative tests for method validation.  Guidelines can be found here.

The Method Validation Committee working group is organized based on major pathogen groups; mycology, bacteriology, virology and nematology. Working groups welcome the participation of any analyst experienced in the testing methods under validation. Interested analysts may contact the SHC about collaboration.

Terminology related to seed-associated microorganisms
  • The primary purpose in understanding associations between seeds and microorganisms is to assess the risk of disease that might result from transporting and planting seeds.
  • That risk may pertain to the crop grown from the seeds, or to subsequent crops of the same species or other species that are grown in the same place.
  • For the purposes of characterizing the association and the risk, several categories may be used:
    • Seedborne – organisms that accompany seeds (internally, externally, or as propagules mixed with seed) and can be transported with seeds
    • Seed-transmitted – seedborne pathogens that pass from seed to plant, causing infection of the plant
    • Seed is a pathway – seedborne pathogens that can be introduced and established in new geographic areas as a result of planting seeds (seed transmission is not necessarily determined)
    • Seed pathway not proven – pathogens for which there is no convincing evidence for seed as a means for introduction and establishment.
    • Seed is not a pathway – evidence exists to suggest that seed does not pose a risk for introduction and establishment. 
  Note on Annotated List of Seed-borne Diseases
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Updated 25.10.2017 (ne)


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