Reference Material (MATREF)

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 2020, MATREF contained 202 control varieties and differential hosts, as well as 48 pathogens and pests (in connection with ISF differential host sets).

On this page you will find the different strains, control varieties and differential hosts available at the GEVES pathology laboratory. By clicking on the species images below, you can consult the material available for each species.



To see conditions and prices: GEVES Price Lists (MATREF services can  be found under “disease test supplies”)

For the other services offered by the GEVES pathology laboratory, please see the following sections:

  • Resistance test for clients
  • Pathogen detection

See the GEVES seed collections.

MATREF Objective

  • 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 INRAE 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 INRAE Avignon
  • Seed companies: ASL, Enza Zaden, Gautier Semences, GSN Semences, H.M. Clause, Bayer Crop Science, Rijk Zwaan, Sakata, Semillas Fitó, Takii, Vilmorin-Mikado.

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 INRAE) 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.


Last and first name Position Email address Phone

Dominique ROUSSEAU

Coordinator of MATREF Vegetable Network


Head of the SNES Pathology Laboratory