Reference Material (MATREF)

A network of reference material (varieties and strains) for testing varieties for resistance to pathogens and pests.


MATREF is a network of reference material managed by GEVES for testing varieties for resistance to pathogens and pests. It was created in 2002 for disease resistance tests performed for registration in the official catalogue (CTPS), for Plant Variety Rights (CPVO or INOV), or for external clients.

In 2017, MATREF contained 193 control varieties and differential hosts, as well as 68 pathogens and pests (in connection with ISF differential host sets).

Reference Material

To place an order please contact our support team:

For information on prices and conditions: List of Services (MATREF services can be found under "Disease testing material").

For other services from the GEVES Pathology Laboratory, please refer to the following sections:

  • Disease testing for external clients
  • Pathogen detection

MATREF objectives

  • Provide reliable and available reference material for disease resistance tests, including:
    • Controls: susceptible, intermediate, resistant cultivars
    • Differential hosts: for identification of races, e.g. the differential set for Bremia lactucae, in collaboration with the IBEB.
    • Pests and pathogen isolates
  • Harmonise reference material (controls, differential hosts, pathogens and pests) between official laboratories and seed companies in order to optimise the consistency of results for resistance assessment when GEVES and INRA check the resistance claims of seed companies.
  • Share tasks and costs between network members for validation, maintenance, and distribution of seeds and pathogen strains.



  • Public partners: GEVES and INRA Avignon
  • Seed companies: ASL, Enza Zaden, Gautier Semences, GSN Semences, H.M. Clause, Monsanto (FR and NL), Rijk Zwaan, Semillas Fitó, Syngenta, Takii, Vilmorin.

To become a member, please contact



MATREF provides a collection of reference material, managed by database:

Seed material

  • Validated as controls in official tests following confirmation of resistance/susceptibility behaviour
  • Validated as differential hosts using reference strains
  • Tested for germinative capacity by GEVES or seed companies from the network
  • Seed health testing: tests for main seed diseases in the European Union
  • Stored in an active bank at 4°C and backup bank at -18°C


Pathogen strains

  • Controls and differentials validated for aggressiveness and virulence
  • Maintained by the official laboratory (GEVES or INRA) or an active bank and stored as a long term back up in 2 secure locations


Distribution of seeds and strains is managed by GEVES. This distribution is free for members of the MATREF network. Control and differential seeds and pathogen strains are also available for non-members; for non-members there is a fee and seed quantity is restricted. Please see the GEVES List of Services for more information.



Mr Dominique ROUSSEAU MATREF Network Coordinator
Ms Valérie GRIMAULT Head of the SNES Pathology Laboratory