Ceratocystis platani is a destructive disease of Platanus, which is spreading through several European countries (EPPO, 2021), but to date, is not present in the UK. Major pathways of pathogen entry into pest free areas are host plants for planting and import of wood material which can sustain live spores for substantial periods (EFSA, 2016). Platanus infection occurs through propagules of the fungus entering physical wounds of Plane trees. Fera have internally verified a real-time PCR test for detection of C. platani in plant material, which is recommend by EPPO. The test is in regular use at Fera for surveillance of symptomatic Platanus sp. This test in plant material is specific and highly sensitive with a limit of detection of 100fg of target DNA.
This project was commissioned via FPPH. Future Proofing Plant Health (FPPH) was established in 2014 as a collaboration between Defra, Fera Science Ltd, Forest Research, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, Joint Nature Conservation Committee and Natural England, to consolidate plant health research and development requirements delivered by Defra network organisations and encourage greater collaboration across the department’s core science providers
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For more information about our wider research view our Plant health research and development plan