Yellowing viruses of sugarbeet

PI: Dr. Wulf Menzel

Diseases of sugar beet caused by insect-transmitted viruses have been controlled by use of neonicotinoid insecticides applied as seed trenches. Because of growing concerns over their environmental impact, in particular to bee populations, those insecticides have been banned leaving the fate of sugarbeet infecting viruses uncertain. 
We study virus diseases of sugarbeet in various agricultural environments of the European sugarbeet production.    

International networks

PI: Dr. Wulf Menzel

The DSMZ Plant Virus Collecton is part of an European consortium Q-bank to provide information on EU regulated and other important plant pests and diseases including plant viruses and viroids. Q-bank is hosted by the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) and supports diagnostic activities of national plant protection organizations, general inspection bodies, and private laboratories by providing data on species and strains available in collections.

Plant Health Bioinfomatics Network (PHBN) 
The DSMZ Plant Virus Department participates to the Plant Health Bioinfomatics Network (PHBN), an Euphresco project with the aim to join forces at European scale and build a community network of biologists, bioinformaticians and computational biologists dealing with plant health. The specific tasks of the project are: to provide reference datasets for validation of bioinformatic pipelines and standardization purposes, to develop training materials and to stimulate exchange of expertise and collaborations between plant pathologists and bioinformaticians.

International collection research projects

European Virus Archive (EVA-GLOBAL)
The Horizon 2020 project EVA-GLOBAL gathers academic institutions at the forefront of human, animal and plant virology research. EVA-GLOBAL will become the largest virtual virus collection. Apart from making available isolates of cultivable and non-cultivable viruses, diagnostic reagents and protocols, extensive research activities are performed. The quality of the virus reference materials provided will not only be defined by the identification and purity, but also by key factors like stability, homogeneity and possible inactivation techniques will be assessed. Generally accepted standards for the characterization, production and handling of reference materials will be developed. In addition, this unique international community aims at becoming the most responsive network to improve the control of emerging or re-emerging virus outbreaks at the global level. 

VirusCurate
The VirusCurate project aims to improve the quality of collections material, through the comprehensive molecular characterization of virus isolates, which may have been previously characterized only biologically and serologically. In the past, it has sometimes turned out that individual isolates were not correctly taxonomically assigned or could not be identified at all. Such material, without sequence information, is not suitable as reference material, especially for regulated viruses. It is particularly important to have well authenticated and comprehensively characterized reference isolates available for e.g. test development and validation. As one of the partners of the project VirusCurate, the DSMZ Plant Virus Department contributes to the important task of safeguarding the long-term availability of high quality reference isolates.