Communique: Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostics

May 26, 2015

The Subcommittee on Plant Health Diagnostics (SPHD) had a meeting in Canberra on 13 and 14 May.

The Plant Health Committee has endorsed three National Diagnostic Protocols, bringing the total to 29. Following the PHC review into its subcommittees, responsibility for the endorsement of future National Diagnostic Protocols has been given to SPHD, which has developed and agreed on the process to be undertaken, resulting in a change to the relevant reference standard. The guidelines for authors to develop generic protocols that identify closely related pests were   also updated.

Applications for round three of the Laboratory Residential Program were assessed by the committee and five were awarded funding.

The SPHD has also drafted a framework for the long term viability of plant pest reference collections that are required to support the delivery of diagnostic capacity in the National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostic Network. This framework will provide strategic guidance to all stakeholders to ensure these collections remain relevant and accessible to plant pest diagnosticians.

The SPHD meeting also provided an opportunity for the Atlas of Living Australia to demonstrate the features of the new version of the Australian Plant Pest Database, which will be included on their portal from July 2015.