The Bacteriology Section aims to test for and monitor quarantine plant bacteria to prevent the introduction and spread of quarantine diseases in the Maltese Islands. Quarantine plant bacteria tested as yet include:
The Potato Ring Rot (Clavibacter michiganensis var sepedonicus), as required by Council Directive 93/85/EEC on the Control of Potato Ring Rot and
The Potato Brown Rot (Ralstonia solanacearum) Council Directive 98/57/EC on the Control of Ralstonia solanacearum (Smith) Yabuuchi et al.
These pathogens pose a serious threat to potato cultivation, which is one of the most economically important crops in the Maltese Islands. As such, annual surveys are carried out involving field visits to potato crops in different areas in the Maltese Islands. Visual inspections for Bacterial Wilt symptoms are made and random samples are taken for laboratory testing. Screening tests include Gram Staining, Immunoflorescence assays and culturing of bacteria on semi-selective media. Additional and confirmatory tests include Polymerase chain reaction inoculation of indicator plants. All tests are performed according to the relevant EU Directive.
Principal Scientific Officer
Return to Diagnostic Laboratories