GEVES contributes strongly at ISTA 32nd Seed Congress in Hyderabad, India
The 32nd ISTA Seed Congress in Hyderabad, India was very successful with more than 500 participants from 60 countries. They were mostly ISTA members and also participants from 25 Indian states. Several important meetings were organised in parallel by the Indian government and Telangana state government, which brought together more than a thousand participants, farmer seed growers and the seed companies.
The congress began with the seed symposium, followed by technical meetings of the ISTA technical committees, and concluded with the Ordinary General Meeting.
France had a strong presence with 14 delegates: 10 from GEVES and 4 from the private sector.
The theme of the seed symposium was “Seed Technology and quality in a Changing World”.
The topics covered focused on:
- Improved efficiency in seed testing methods, quality and productivity, reducing cost and time.
- Several oral presentations presented recent developments in seed morphology, biology of seeds and germination of wild native seeds used in restoration of ecosystems and land. More studies are being carried out on tropical and subtropical species to fit the needs of tropical areas, and to face climate change.
- Seed as a pathway is a major topic for seed trade and regulations. Several methods for detection and identification of seed pathogens based on molecular biology, and viability tests were presented (G. Orgeur – GEVES-SNES on Ditylenchus)
- Phenotyping based on image analysis and multispectral imaging are making rapid progress. Tests are now available to measure the speed of radicle emergence, and to identify seed species with accuracy close to that of analysts, with output still limited.
GEVES made 5 oral presentations and presented four posters.
Reports of the 18 technical committees were presented over three days, in closed and open meetings and posters. https://www.seedtest.org/en/technical-committees-documents-_content—1–3496.html
Four technical committees are chaired by engineers from France: Germination – Sylvie Ducournau (GEVES), Proficiency Tests – Didier Demilly (GEVES), Seed Health – Valérie Grimault (GEVES), Statistics – Jean-Louis Laffont (Pioneer). To illustrate the work of the committees, germination tests on soybean and phaseolus have been adapted and improved at the request of seed industry and seed regulatory bodies from different countries including France. It has been demonstrated that organic growing media gives better accuracy in laboratories and is better suited for testing treated seeds.
New methods voted on at the Ordinary General Meeting – which will come into force on 1 January 2020 – will be presented as every year at the “Lab Open Days” at SNES-GEVES, Beaucouzé (19-20 September 2019).
New: To encourage the technical committees to develop innovative research programmes, ISTA has decided to finance three programmes. All three projects are on phenotyping and image analysis. Project N°1 is an inventory of phenotyping equipment available on the market or at research stage, project N°2 is on the use of multispectral imaging for purity and germination analyses. Project N°3 studies radicle emergence and a predictive test for germination, a potential for automation. GEVES is partner of projects 1 and 2, and project manager of N°3. GEVES is also in charge of a Seed Health project in the framework of the Seed Health Committee: creating a “pest list” for agricultural species for which seeds can potentially be a pathway. https://www.seedtest.org/en/ista-reference-pest-list-_content—1–3477–1152.html.
Ordinary General Meeting (OGM) confirmed good progress of technical work and healthy financial capacities of the ISTA. This allows for developing an ambitious strategy for the coming three years 2019-2022 under the governance of the newly elected Executive Committee (President Steve Jones Canada, Vice President Keshavulu Kunusoth, India). The main areas of the Strategy voted on at the OGM are to encourage technical work including new technologies to validate new methods, developing blended training (physical and e-training), and strengthening collaborations with other international and regional organisations such as IPPC, IPPN OECD, FAO, and ISF.
Other significant issues discussed during the OGM:
- Following ISTA’s 2018 meeting in Sapporo Japan, at the request of members ISTA has clarified the position on the introduction of new technologies. Introducing new technologies in ISTA Rules such as image analysis is strongly encouraged. Validation should follow the ISTA validation programme.
- In the framework of Seed Health, and the pest list for agricultural crops which is being prepared, ISTA is looking forward to valorising the pest list in connection with the IPPC.
- As part of the training strategy, ISTA will organise workshops on quality assurance for French speaking laboratories in Africa, with the contribution of GEVES experts.
- Results of an extended survey made by the ISTA Secretariat suggest revising the membership structure to attract more new active young members and better answer the needs of stakeholders.
- Sylvie Ducournau (GEVES) has been elected member of the Executive Committee. She will represent GEVES and France and contribute to the governance of ISTA.