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Products and Services - Seed Quality - Seed Health

NSHS Accredited Tests
Bacterial Fruit Blotch
PCR Testing
ELISA Testing
How to Submit Seed Samples
Plant Pathology's Role in the Safety of the American Food Supply (55 KB PDF)
Sample Submission Form (63 KB PDF)

NSHS Accredited Tests

Eurofins STA Laboratories is committed to providing the most innovative and reliable seed health testing available to the agricultural industry. One of the ways that Eurofins STA Laboratories, Inc. has demonstrated its commitment is by receiving accreditation by the National Seed Health System (NSHS), a program of the United States Department of Agriculture. Our laboratories in Gilroy, California and Longmont, Colorado offer the following NSHS accredited seed health tests to support your international seed trade business. We will continue to partner with you, our clients, adding accreditations based on request.

Colorado Facility

  • Halo Blight of Beans (Pseudomonas syringae pv. phaseolicola)
  • Brown Spot of Beans (Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae)
  • Common Blight of Beans (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. phaseoli)
  • Carrot Blight (Xanthomonas hortorum pv. carotae)
  • Bacterial Fruit Blotch of cucurbits (Acidovorax citrulli)
  • Gummy Stem Blight of Cucurbits (Didymella bryoniae)
  • Anthracnose of Cucurbits (Colletotrichum orbiculare)
  • Black Leg of Crucifers (Phoma lingam)
  • Black Rot of Crucifers (Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris)
  • Carrot Leaf Blight and Black Rot (Alternaria dauci and Alternaria radicina)
  • Spinach Verticillium (Verticillium dahliae)
  • Coriander Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas syringae pv. coriandricola)

California Facility

  • Bacterial Fruit Blotch of Cucurbits (Acidovorax citrulli)
  • Gummy Stem Blight of Cucurbits (Didymella bryoniae)
  • Squash Mosaic Virus of Cucurbits (SqMV)
  • Cucumber Green Mild Mottle Virus of Cucurbits (CGMMV)
  • Black Rot of Crucifers (Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris)
  • Bacterial Speck of Tomato (Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato)
  • Bacterial Spot of Tomato and Pepper (Xanthomonas campestris pv. vesicatoria)
  • Bacterial Canker of Tomato (Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis)
  • Tobamo Viruses on Tomato and Pepper (Tobamos)
  • Lettuce Mosaic Virus (LMV)

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Bacterial Fruit Blotch

Turn to Eurofins STA Laboratories for results you can trust. Testing by our Seed Health department is the premier choice for clients seeking the industry's most reliable Bacterial Fruit Blotch (BFB) testing. Eurofins STA's BFB testing and research is world-renown and has served companies from all over the globe.

BFB is a relatively new disease that was first observed in U.S. commercial watermelon fields in 1989. Unfortunately, it can be devastating for growers since symptoms of the disease are often not obvious until a few weeks prior to harvest. Left undetected, fruit losses due to BFB can reach 80-100% and numerous litigations have occurred as a result.

By operating a high throughput lab, we have enormous familiarity with BFB testing in cucurbits of all species. Our team of seed health experts oversees and monitors the full grow out of seedlings for BFB testing on all seed lots. This industry-recognized methodology may be time-intensive but is well worth the investment. Our proven methodology means we are able to minimize contamination, maintain adequate environmental conditions, and ensure that results are accurate on all seed lots tested.

As the leader in BFB testing, we continuously pursue more rapid and reliable testing methods by collaborating with experts in the field. Eurofins STA Seed Health Services is committed to achieving a more rapid turnaround for our BFB clients around the world. For more information contact John Mizicko at 888-782-5220 or stacoinfo@eurofinsus.com

Questions & Answers with BFB Experts (3.0 MB PDF)

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PCR Testing

At Eurofins STA Laboratories, we like to offer clients a full range of testing options and capabilities versus relying on one aspect of seed health testing. Eurofins STA Seed Health incorporates major, recognized seed health tests to ensure that your seed lot samples are confidently and confidentially tested for seed-borne pathogens.

One such testing option is the use of the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), a method that is able to extract, detect and identify pathogens based on fragments of their genetic information.

While highly sensitive, PCR testing can occasionally yield false positive results. It has also been noted to yield false negative results, which can be devastating for a seed company. Our in-house experts are able to accurately determine when PCR testing is most appropriate based on the pathogen in question, and the specificity of the primers and the sensitivity of protocols that have been developed. Eurofins STA Seed Health is continually working with leading edge researchers to develop new PCR testing methodologies and strives to remain at the forefront of advances in seed health testing.

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ELISA Testing

Eurofins STA Seed Health uses industry-accepted protocols that are the most widely recognized standards for obtaining reliable results for clients. The fact is that while any laboratory might be able to conduct ELISA (Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay) testing, the variables come down to type of equipment, quality of reagents, and skills of the technicians. That's where art and science come together. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff uses state-of-the art equipment combined with the highest grade reagents to cultivate the proper testing environment.

ELISA is a diagnostic test used to determine if proteins from a particular suspect plant pathogen (virus, bacteria, or fungus) are present in a sample. ELISA testing uses antibodies that detect specific proteins from the target pathogen. First, the wells of a microtiter plate are coated with the antibody. Then a sample is added to the wells and if the target proteins from the pathogen are present, they bind to the antibody. A second antibody with an attached enzyme is added and it binds to the pathogen protein. A chemical substrate is then added to the wells, which then reacts to the enzyme to produce a color change. A color change indicates that a sample is positive for the protein and therefore the pathogen of interest.

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Eurofins STA Seed Health uses multiple testing methods to deliver results you can trust. For example, testing for Squash Mosaic Virus (SqMV) is primarily done using the ELISA technique. Virus particles associated with the seed, will occasionally produce a positive reading with ELISA testing. Our expert scientists and technicians know that some virus particles could be the inactive form and are unable to cause disease. Therefore to determine if positive ELISA results are due to active virus particles, we use an additional method (bioassays) to determine if the pathogen is active.

The bioassay is a method of detecting viable (active) virus particles by using a host plant that gives a specific reaction when inoculated with the target virus. Tobacco is commonly used as a "host plant" to detect tobamovirus particles such as Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV), Tomato Mosaic Virus (ToMV), and Pepper Mild Mottle Virus (PMMV) by eliciting a rapid lesion called the "Hypersensitive Response (HR)."

The seed sample is ground in a buffer solution and inoculated on fully expanded tobacco leaves. The plant leaves are gently wounded during the inoculation to allow the virus particles to more easily enter the plant. After approximately seven days, if there are no lesions, the sample is considered to have no evidence of the targeted virus.

Another type of bioassay utilizes a "systemic reaction" (those that appear on leaves other than the one that is inoculated) to detect viral pathogens that can move systemically through the plant. These types of bioassays are more time consuming to conduct due to the length of time that is required for symptom expression after inoculation.

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