Conditions identity material for DUS testing

Germination capacity of seeds

The germination capacity of an identity sample for the purpose of DUS testing must be as such that when sowing a small surplus of seed sufficient vital plants emerge to fulfil the demands from protocols (CPVO protocols, UPOV guidelines, national protocols). The expression of the charactyeristics may not be influenced by a lower vitality.

For some (ornamental) crops a minimun germination capacity has been determined, see the table with submission requirements.

In case of parent lines a lower germination can be allowed. If less than 70% is expected, it can be decided to sow a small amount of seeds extra. However, plants must not lack in vigor.

Health and treatment of seeds

At the time of receipt, identity material must be free of pests and diseases, in good condition and suitable for testing and storage.

In general the seed must not have been subjected to any chemical or other treatment, unless this is specifically permitted or required. Treatments can mask the characteristics of the seed, can influence the germination and therefore subsequently the crop development, can influence the storability of the seed and can influence (a part of) the DUS test, as may be the case with resistance tests.

Seed treatments that are not allowed:

  • Fungicides with systemic action and non-systemic action (including Thiram)
  • Insecticides
  • (Organic) coating that influences germination and/or plant development (including B-mox, Sapphire en premix)
  • Priming/primed seeds (except for tomato rootstock and for eggplant, if packed in small packages)
  • Pelleted seeds

Seed treatments that are allowed:

  • Pre-treatment of seed that is specifically required due to phytosanitairy guidelines (including NaCl, HCL, NaOCl or TSP)

An overview of permitted and prohibited seed treatments by department of Variety Testing you can find here: ENG- Acceptance seed treatments by the department Variety Testing.

Identity samples submitted for the test that on receipt do not visually comply with the demands stated, will be considered not to have been received.

Certain additional conditions may be placed per crop, as indicated in the overview.

Health of plants

At the time of receipt, identity material must be free of pests and diseases, in good condition, suitable for testing and storage and not have been subjected to any chemical or other treatment, unless this is specifically permitted or required.

This also means that the material must not show any after effects of a treatment with growth regulators that are used during cultivation and propagation, as this can influence the external appearance. If growing the material in several cycles is necessary to eradicate the disruptive influence of such treatments, the costs involved will be charged for.

With crops in which virus diseases can occur that have such an influence on the habit of growth (external appearance of a plant) of the plants that it is unclear if the habit of growth is determined by the genetic predisposition (genotype) of the plant or by the virus, the testing institute routinely tests material at the beginning of the test. The set standards must not be exceeded. The overview of submission conditions lists these standards for the crops concerned. If a negative test result is obtained, the test will be aborted. However the fees due for the test must still be paid. If, at a later stage during cultivation, material appears not to be virus free or has undergone an undesirable treatment, this may result in the application being rejected.

With crops that are susceptible to quarantine diseases, the material to be tested must be free of such diseases. The applicant must therefore only submit material which has been demonstrably proven to be free of quarantine diseases (for example, with a PD declaration).

Material which is not shown to comply with the demands in the way stated above, will be considered not to have been received.

Certain additional conditions may be placed per crop, as indicated in the overview.

Health of potatoes

In addition to the general conditions on health of plants as stated above, certain special demands relating to virus diseases apply to potatoes. If virus diseases lead to clear symptoms in the plants to be tested, the presence of the virus can have negative consequences for identity determination. Each plot of 40 plants must contain no more than 2 clearly virus infected plants. If a higher number of plants are infected with a virus, all the material that has been planted out will be destroyed, after the applicant has been granted the opportunity to inspect the test. A too high number of plants infected with a virus will lead to the rejection of the application.

All submitted samples must be free of brown rot, ring rot and other quarantine diseases (Potato spindle tuber viroid, South-American viruses and non-European strains of indigenous viruses). The identity material to be submitted must therefore be accompanied by a phytosanitary declaration (NAK certificate or plant passport) stating that the material is free of quarantine diseases.

Material that is not accompanied by a NAK certificate or plant passport will not be accepted and the application will be considered to have been withdrawn.


  1. The submission conditions per crop shown in the overview should be considered to be a general guideline. Naktuinbouw reserves the right to change the amount or quality required of identity material and to change the indicated dates or location where material must be submitted to.
  2. If, at the ultimo date, the material is visually not complying with the requirements of amount, health or quality, the material will be considered not to have been received and the application will be considered to have been withdrawn.
  3. Identity material must be dispatched free of costs (such as transport, postage and customs costs) for the addressee. When identity material is sent from and to counties outside the Netherlands all customs and phytosanitary formalities must be completed.
  4. Where plant material to be submitted for the conduct of the technical examination is falling under phytosanitary import restrictions being not compatible with the requirements of the Raad voor plantenrassen (Netherlands Board for Plant Varieties), the applicant must contact the Bureau of Plant varieties without delay but no later than the final date of material submission. The Netherlands Board for Plant Varieties may then permit alternatives. 

Submission date and location

  1. An application for granting of Plant Breeders' Rights or listing on the national list can be submitted at any time (papers and payment). However, in many cases a closing date is shown in the overview of submission conditions. For applications received after that date it is not possible to guarantee that the variety will be included in the next growing cycle. If an application has been filed before the closing date, the identity sample has to be received before the first final submission date. Not a full year later.
  2. Material must be supplied to the location listed in the overview and addressed to the correct person or department; material supplied elsewhere can be considered not be have been received.

Plant stage, packaging and labeling

  1. Material must be labelled clearly, stating at least the following: crop name, provisional denomination as stated on the application form, assigned application number and for seeds the lot number. The assigned application number must be stated unless the sample is sent together with the application form. This is only possible if the documentation and the sample are to be sent to an identical address (see overview). The label must be securely attached to the packaging or the details printed onto the packaging. Vegetative material: please do not print or write (e.g. with permanent markers) application numbers, denominations, breeders’ references and/or company information (such as company names, addresses etcetera) on the pots or on the foliage.
  2. The packaging must be suitable for the nature and quantity of the identity material and must be closed in such a way that nothing can be added or removed from the contents without damaging the seal or the packaging.
  3. With flowering crops, the material must not be in bloom or must not have bloomed, unless stated otherwise.
  4. Young plants supplied must be plants that are suitable to exhibit all the characteristics in the first year of the test. 
  5. Material destined for outdoor cultivation must be suitable for planting outdoors immediately; material that does not meet this requirement will be considered not to have been received.
  6. Unless stated otherwise, pot plants must not be supplied with more than one plant per pot, even if this is usual, standard practice. Only supply single plants per pot. If several plants are still supplied in a single pot, a number of pots equal to the number of plants must also be supplied.