Main research question/goal
The Belgian government tasks ILVO experts with the study of the status of specific plant diseases and pests on our territory. Some insects, mites, nematodes, bacteria, viruses and moulds can be very harmful in the plant production sector or the natural green environment. We do not always have (recent) data on the occurrence and spread of some of these diseases and pests in Belgium. We focus on specific quarantine organisms for the EU or on organisms supposed to represent a potential threat and therefore classified as Q-alert. Research approach
Extensive data mining and survey are the most reliable ways to determine the status of an organism. This status is then reported according to a standard developed by EPPO. ILVO-Crop Protection is National Reference Laboratory for Plant Health and hence well positioned for these kind of studies. The ILVO researchers are participating in the European networks on quarantine and other regulated organisms (EPPO, EFSA, NRL consortia, ERAnet EUPHRESCO).Relevance/Valorisation
Results of the studies are reported to the Belgian Plant Protection Organisation and through this to the European phytosanitary organizations as well. Based on status data, the authorities can already decide on the need for a phytosanitary control plan or measures against a specific organism. This helps to prevent further spread in the plant production chains or green environment and forest. New insight into the actual status of a disease or pest organism can also be a motive to initiate an extensive pest risk analysis (PRA).