A high throughput system for detecting numbers and species of potato cyst nematode in soils has been developed by Scottish government agency SASA.


The system, which is capable of processing more than 2400 samples per week, has been developed to cope with the anticipated 18-20,000 samples the agency will need to process once the PCN directive comes into force in July.

Final testing was currently taking place and the system should be up and running when the directive is launched, said SASA’s David Kenyon at the 2010 Crop Protection in Northern Britain Conference. “We just need to complete the final quality checks before putting it into action.”

Samples of varying sizes can be tested and the machine is capable of detecting live adult nematodes, juveniles and eggs.

He reckoned the machine would be more accurate than the current manual system and automated data recording meant results would be stored more efficiently.

Read more from the 2010 Crop Protection in Northern Britain Conference

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