INEXTVIR project is coming to an end

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The INEXTVIR project is coming to an end after more than 4 years of research and training activities to generate a better understanding of viral communities and their role in agricultural ecosystems using the latest advances in high throughput sequencing (HTS) technologies.

On 29th March 2023, the consortium gathered for the last time in Bordeaux (France) in order to organise the final network meeting and a final conference with recognised experts and stakeholders on the 30th March.

In this occasion, the INRA research institute was the local organiser, and it offered its facilities to host the event. Representatives from the academic and non-academic partners as well as members of the External Advisory Board attended the meeting both online and in person. The recruited early-stage researchers (some of them already doctorates) were invited to engage and take an active role as well.

Project partners shared the progress of the activities performed since the last meeting organised in Ljubljana (Slovenia) in October 2022. Some of the most promising achievements and results so far include:

  • High throughput sequencing to reveal viromes of tomato, carrot, melon, lettuce, Prunus, Pirus and Malus trees and plant communities in crop edge weeds and water.
  • Many new viruses discovered.
  • More than 100 diagnostic tests designed.
  • Bioinformatic tools developed: VirHunter, CONT-ID, etc.
  • 23 articles prepared until now (i.e., first reports, complete genomes, epidemiology, biological characterization of new viruses, reviews, HTS protocols and guidelines).

The day after, on the 30th March, INEXTVIR launched and chaired a web-based roundtable with international and well-reputed experts, preceded by several stakeholders’ presentations around topics such as seed testing, certification or surveillance.

Under the title “Adoption and impact of high throughput sequencing in plant health: Seed testing, surveillance and certification” this hybrid event was followed by more than 150 people online.

Wilfred Jonkers (Bejo Zadem, The Netherlands), Kelvin Hughes (Plant Health, UK), Mike Rott (Food Inspection, Canada), Françoise Petter (EPPO, France) and INEXTVIR experts led interesting discussions on plant quarantine, plant health inspection and certification, potential of HTS in seed testing and surveillance, and the most relevant challenges and trends, all from academic, public authority and industry perspectives.

The recording will be available on the INEXTVIR website.

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