PMB says new blackleg test is more reliable
A NEW test for blackleg on seed potatoes is now available from the Potato Marketing Boards Sutton Bridge experimental unit.
Using a new technique, the test detects very low levels of Erwina, the blackleg-causing bacterium, giving a significantly more accurate and reliable assessment than existing commercially available tests, the PMB claims.
The new test uses specially developed immunofluorescent colony counting (IFC) techniques to measure levels of bacterium and assess the risk of blackleg developing.
"The technique is very specific," says experimental unit research officer Carol Symonds. "And, because it is more sensitive than existing commercial tests, much lower levels of Eca are detectable, enabling us to give a much more accurate assessment of the blackleg risk." The new test costs £95 + VAT for a 50-tuber sample. *