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This proposed EUPHRESCO project will promote the interaction and exchange of knowledge and experience among the participant partners with the aims of:

  1. Gathering current knowledge on seed borne pathogens of conifers.
  2. Generate data on the movement of conifer seed, focusing on the most traded conifer genera and/or species.
  3. Compare and run in parallel testing of seed lots using the traditional and molecular methodologies by different laboratories with the aim of harmonising methodologies for the detection of pathogens.

The project will explore the potential channels to disseminate relevant information to key stakeholders and generate information to raise awareness of the potential threat of introduction of pathogens to new areas through seed movement.

Research objectives

  • To carry out an exhaustive review of the literature on seed borne pathogens in conifers in order to give a picture of the current knowledge on the topic.
  • To map over time the volumes, origins, and destinations of the trans-boundary movement of conifer seed. The focus will be on the movement of larger quantities of seed for industrial purposes (e.g. planting for breeding or bulking), however estimates will also be provided on the movement of smaller quantities for private purposes (e.g. brought by passengers, ordered via internet or private shipments).
  • To investigate the correlations between changes in seed movement patterns and changes in the geopolitical (regulatory and/or investment) environment.
  • To compare and improve culture-based and molecular methods for detection of fungi associated with conifer seeds currently used in different laboratories.
  • To enhance the dialogue between the project and the stakeholders, as well as among the project partners themselves.
  • To disseminate the work done throughout the project with emphasis on stakeholders and other target audiences.

Our Involvement

This is a multi partner project with partners from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and USA. Information generated from the project will provide sound scientific evidence of seed borne fungi. This information will be useful to professionals (nurseries, producers, foresters, importers), policy (government), scientific community (researchers) and for any interested party. There is a need to raise awareness about the potential risks of introducing pests and diseases through seed movement and trade.

FR is leading Project management and co-ordination of the Project.

Staff profile image of Ana Perez Sierra
Ana Perez-Sierra

Head of Tree Health Diagnostic and Advisory Service