Harmorescoll: a European collection of reference materials for resistance tests

News publication date: 08 May 2020

Harmorescoll is a European project aimed at setting up a system for harmonized reference collections of isolates, standard varieties, and differential sets. The goal is to further harmonize the tests for disease resistance that are required for variety registration. Research stations in Europe are working on this project in collaboration with the Community Plant Variety Office, CPVO. Naktuinbouw has a leading role in this project.


Disease resistances are commonly used as defining characteristics of new varieties, particularly in the vegetable sector. Disease resistant varieties should be resistant in a production environment. The resistance should be tested in a highly controlled test environment. Resistance tests should be reproducible within and between different laboratories, and they should be capable of implementation in practice. The results should be exchangeable.

CPVO is publishing official protocols for resistance testing. The published methodology is harmonised  through ringtests. The next step in this harmonization process is improving the availability of reference materials mentioned in the harmonized protocols: standard varieties to compare with applications for DUS and to evaluate the test environment, standard isolates known to represent the disease outside the laboratory setting, and differential sets that are needed to check the virulence patterns of isolates of certain diseases.

Our aim is to build a new network by using the experience obtained in existing initiatives that serve the same purpose in different European countries. The new network will coordinate the activities of GEVES in France and Naktuinbouw in the Netherlands, as well as other international partners. This will prevent potential overlapping activities and will improve the availability of reference materials.