On June 25 and 26, 2020, an online meeting of the forty-seventh session of the Specialized Section on the Development of Standards for Seed Potatoes of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) took place.
Recall, the meeting was to be held March 16-17, 2020 in Geneva, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Representatives of Finland, Poland, Russia, North America, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany, Estonia, Sweden, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, Belgium, France and others took part in the online meeting.
From the Russian Federation, the director of the FSBI Russian Agricultural Center A.M. took part in the session. Malko, employees of the central office and employees of the branch of the FSBI "Rosselkhoztsentr" in the Leningrad Region, headed by the head of the branch, E.A. Pavlova. On the first day, UNECE representative Mika Vepselainen gave a welcoming speech and outlined the difficult situation in the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Section Secretary, Head of the UNECE Agricultural Standards Division Liliana Annovazi-Jacob thanked everyone for their work in the working group.
The moderator of the online meeting was Hanna Kortemaa (representative of Finland).
Naina Zidek, North American representative, spoke about a visit to the Montana State Potato Working Group in 2019. The meeting was very useful. We visited seed potato producers, got acquainted with the work of the laboratory for the diagnosis of seed potatoes, the production of micro plants, with the certification of seed potatoes.
Further discussed the following issues:
1) Amendments to the Standard for Seed Potatoes submitted by the representatives of Finland:
1. The source material must have varietal purity of the corresponding variety.
2. This seed potato must be obtained from an officially approved initial seed material which must not be at least affected:
- potato tuber spindle viroid;
- synchytrium endobioticum (Schilb) Prc .;
- clavibacter michiganensis spp. Sepedonicus (ring rot);
-ralstonia solanacearum (brown rot);
- pectobacterium spp. and Dickey spp. (syn. erwinia spp.);
- potato viruses X, Y, S, M and A;
- potato leaf roll virus.
2) Revised minituber production guidelines. Submitted by Australia.
The focus in the production of micro plants and potato minicubers is on ensuring that the material produced:
- retained the identity of the variety, varietal purity and varietal compliance;
- was free from pests and diseases;
- ensured traceability of the origin of products.
3) Revised draft questionnaire survey of test methods for bacterial lesions. Document prepared by the delegation of the United States of America. Questions were raised:
- the size of the batch of seed potatoes;
- testing tubers for viruses.
4) Stability in tissue culture and updating varieties.
Document prepared by the delegation of South Africa.
- in all cases, in order to update or replace the imported variety, it is preferable to contact the breeding company with a request to provide a new clone. However, in cases where variety renewal is required, all possible measures should be taken to minimize the risk associated with clone renewal;
- 13 stages of updating materials:
1. Identification of a suitable site and suitable planting material.
2. First field assessment and selection.
3. The second assessment on the field and selection.
4. Leaf tests for viruses.
5. Harvesting tubers.
6. Evaluation of tubers.
7. The selection of clones.
8. Cultivation of iv vitro.
9. Tests for bacteria.
10. Tests for viruses.
11. Assessment of seedlings in ambient light.
12. DNA testing.
13. Approval and transfer for use of selected clones.
5) At the end of the session, the rapporteur from Germany presented a revised draft capacity-building guide.
- The guide is intended to provide a comprehensive training approach for use in large-scale capacity building projects or as separate components for more targeted training.
The training course may cover the following topics:
- The minimum conditions to be met for the production of potatoes intended for the preparation of basic seed potatoes-TC. (Note: may only become relevant at a later stage).
- The minimum conditions that the landings must meet.
- Field inspection procedures.
- Tolerances for defects and diseases in seed lots.
- Zero tolerances.
- Tuber inspection procedures.
- The minimum conditions to be satisfied by the direct offspring of seed potatoes.
- Post-harvest control procedures.
- Summary table of tolerances.
At the end of the videoconference, the place and date of the next meeting of the Section were discussed.
On May 20-21 or at the beginning of June 2021, the World Potato Congress is planned, subject to the availability of funds. The country will be determined in the near future.
A proposal was received to join the standard development section to Congress.
The next session is scheduled for autumn 2020.