AOSA/SCST Seed Pathology Committee Meeting
Indianapolis, Indiana, Monday, June 5, 2006
Minutes of Meeting
The AOSA/SCST Seed Pathology Committee met Monday, June 5, 2006 in the Atlanta
Room of the Marriott Hotel.
An attendance sign-in-sheet was passed around and an agenda for the meeting and a work
sheet for defining the committee’s role and scope of activities were passed out to all
Attendees expressed little interest in defining the role of the committee; discussion
moved on to other items on agenda. The chair will try to get a mission statement at a
Attendees were asked what the committee should focus on:
Networking, information about experts or resources to go to when they have
trouble with pathogens.
Developing training protocol/accreditation for pathology testing
Organize a workshop for next year’s meeting- how do pathogens affect vigor and
germ, also include environmental and health concerns. Seed pathogens versus
living tissue pathogens. Fusarium, Aspergillus, Phomopsis, and Penicillium
General glossary for beginners- Jim Shephard put something together for CFIA,
look into it.
National Seed Health System
Dan Curry, Iowa State Seed Science Center, reported on the status of the National Seed
Health System (NSHS). The NSHS web site (www.seedhealth.org) has Reference
Manual B which is a list of accepted protocols for seed health testing by US labs and
information on how to become accredited by NSHS for seed health testing and field
inspection for phytosanitary certification. Reference Manual B testing protocols are
available for download and covers most field and vegetable crops grown in the US.
Cindy Finneseth, University of Kentucky Seed Lab, reported on problems with
germination tests on wheat samples being affected by Fusarium. She reported that when
seeds are contaminated with Fusarium, a paired test was run using treated seeds along
with the untreated test.
Connie O’Brien from Mycogen Seed requested information on the health hazards of
exposure to Aspergillus flavus spores.
Doug Miller asked if is there enough information and training for labs to be hand treating
seed. Should the committee provide more information on these topics.
Doug Miller also mentioned that AOSCA is concerned with uniformity in testing to assist
the movement of seed internationally. Some problems are trade issues rather than seed
testing issues. Two potential focuses for the committee are seed pathology testing and
how fungal infection effects vigor and germination,
There was discussion about the need to help analysts not trained in pathology to identify
some common fungi that appear in germination tests either as saprophytes or pathogens.
This will be a long term project for future consideration.
Attendees agreed to work on two projects for the coming year:
1. To determine standard methods for conducting tests when pathogens or saprophytes
are present in germination tests and affect the percentage germination and to present this
information at next years meeting.
2. To research the health hazards of exposure to Aspergillus flavus spores and the
personal protection equipment that should be used when working under conditions of
exposure to high numbers of airborne spores.
Anita Hall, Executive Director of SCST, said that she would set up a web page for the
committee on SCST’s website where the committee can post information on seed health
testing. To be posted are the NSHS website, the International Seed Health Initiative
(ISHI) (www.worldseed.org) and International Seed Testing Association (ISTA) (
www.seedtest.org) web addresses. ISHI and ISTA also have seed health testing protocols
available for download.