Seed Info No. 42
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Seed Info is designed to stimulate information exchange and regular communication between seed staff in the Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA) region. Its purpose is to help strengthen national seed programs and thus improve the supply of quality seed to farmers. The WANA Seed Network corner provides information on activities related to global and/or regional cooperation and collaboration to facilitate the development of a vibrant regional seed industry. In this issue, we highlight the ECOSA 2011 Seed Trade Conference and the Regional Workshop on Seed Policy in the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) region, both held in Istanbul, Turkey. The workshop on Seed Policy was organized by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and attracted 35 participants, representing all member countries of the ECO. In the NEWS AND VIEWS section, Niels Louwaars from Plantum-NL presents the role of the seed association for a healthy seed industry. The article discusses the evolution of the international seed trade and with it the international seed association and, lately, the emergence of regional and national seed associations in various parts of the world. There is news from regional and/or international organizations, such as the International Union for the Protection of New Varieties of Plants (UPOV) and the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). SAARC members are set to create a regional seed bank and a regional rapid response mechanism to fight natural disasters such as cyclones and earthquakes. The section on SEED PROGRAMS includes news from Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Morocco, and Pakistan. The Ethiopian report covers the outcomes of a regional seed workshop on variety identification and maintenance, organized by ICARDA in collaboration with the Ethiopian Seed Enterprise (ESE) and the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EAIR). USAID Famine Fund Project provided financial support for the participants from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. The workshop members shared experiences on accelerated seed multiplication to counter the wheat rust threat in Egypt, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. News from Pakistan focused on the release of bread wheat varieties in 2011 by the Punjab Seed Council. ICARDA, with the USAID Famine Fund Project, is supporting accelerated seed multiplication and popularization of these newly released varieties They work with public and private sector partners to ensure availability and access to seed for farming communities across the country. The RESEARCH section captures information on adaptive research or issues relevant to seed program development in the region and beyond. This issue features an article entitled ‘Use of Tissue Blot Immunoassay and Sequential Sampling to Determine Pea Seed-borne Mosaic Virus Seed-to-Plant Transmission Rates’ by Joop van Leur et al., NSW Department of Primary Industries, Tamworth, Australia. Standard procedures for the detection of PSbMV seed transmission are based on the group testing of greenhouse grown, 2 to 3 week old seedlings with ELISA. The paper describes the suitability of testing etiolated plumules of pea seed germinated on filter paper by tissue blot immunoassay (TBIA) to quantify differences between pea seed lots and genotypes in SPT rates. TBIA is less costly than ELISA and has been successfully applied for detecting seed transmission for several viruses including PSbMV. Statistical tests were applied that provide reliability ranges and assist in determining the appropriate sample sizes to quantify the SPT rates of different seed lots. Seed Info encourages the exchange of information between the national, regional, and global seed industries.