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Main research question/goal
The main objective is to develop a strategic research agenda and keep it up to date for ILVO’s Plant Virology research area and to translate the identified current needs in basic research, project research and the implementation/development of new diagnostic techniques. The research questions are: Which virus problems in Flemish agriculture and horticulture require thorough investigation? Additionally, any research gaps regarding diagnostic methods (accurate and sensitive detection and identification techniques for viruses and virus-like organisms) are prioritized and addressed.

Research approach
By monitoring the plant production sector (field crops, fruits and vegetables, ornamentals, etc) the laboratory of Plant Virology is empowered to make strategic choices. We evaluate possible approaches and bring solutions (through discussions with the relevant industry sector) based on (basic) research and general scientific knowledge which is available at ILVO’s virology lab. We select the topics and issues for which project proposals for more extensive (applied) research is needed, based on the production and export figures, the urgency of the emerging problem, and on gaps in scientific knowledge, ranging from basic research to the currently most appropriate solutions to the problem. We respond to specific diagnostic needs by building expertise and implement validated tests. We also actively take part in European networks, both in diagnostic and research relevant themes. Examples include participation in the ERA-net EUPHRESCO and EPPO workgroups.

We expect important service-related valorisation: implementation of validated detection and identification tools for viruses, viroids and phytoplasmas according to the ISO17025 accreditation norm. Additionally, the plant virus research and diagnostic activities at ILVO have an important socio-economic relevancy. Virus infections increasingly gain interest in import/export related activities, more in particular in relation to certification requirements. High quality output is not only intended for the scientific population but also directly for the sector (information sessions, workshops and technical publications).
Effective start/end date1/01/1031/12/17

ID: 4161829