Q: What can I expect in terms of having my premises sampled?
A: Project staff or Plant Health inspectors will sample at least twice a year over the three year duration of the project. At each sampling we will collect water from various locations on the premises. Root and foliage samples will also be taken from plants in such a way so as not to require the destruction of sampled plants.
Q: When will we get results back?
A: We will aim to provide you with your results within three months of sampling. Results may be provided earlier if specifically requested.
Q: What actions are taken if a Phytophthora is found?
A: If a Phytophthora is found which is known to be present in the UK and is not listed as a quarantine or regulated pathogen no action would be required but we would provide advice on disease management.
If a novel or quarantine regulated Phytophthora is found, the Plant Health authorities would have to be informed and are in fact partners in this project. The DNA detection method used in this project (“meta-barcoding”) is new and cannot be used alone for statutory action. Any findings would need to be officially validated through follow-up visits in order to confirm positive results with alternative and established detection methods. For the regulated Phytophthoras (e.g. P. ramorum, P. kernoviae, P. lateralis, P. austrocedri) the usual statutory actions would apply. For novel Phytophthoras actions would be based on individual risk assessments and decisions made by the relevant authorities.
Statutory actions are only usually taken on suspicion or confirmation of infected plants, although recommendations are given for infected soil or water.
Please contact Sarah Green if you are interested in taking part.