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Neil Boonham
Coordinator Q-DETECT
Neil Boonham
+44 1904 462332

The Food and Environment Research Agency 
Sand Hutton, York, YO41 1LZ , United Kingdom

Brion Duffy
Communications Q-DETECT
Brion Duffy
+41 44 7836416

Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil ACW
CH-8820 Wädenswil, Switzerland




Q-DETECT is a multi-disciplinary research network focused on developing innovative tools that enhance the capacity of phytosanitary inspectors to protect European agriculture and forestry sectors from invasive pests.

Q-DETECT International Innovation


Principal Project Objectives

The multidisciplinary, international Q-DETECT consortium has a long-term goal to develop reliable detection methods for quarantine pests and pathogens (throughout the proposal referred to as pests) for use by national plant protection organizations (NPPO) and inspection services. The aim of the consortium is to develop advanced sampling anddetection methods for early and reliable detection of quarantine pests of plants. The project will take a holistic approach and thus the methods developed will be suitable for use by National Plant Protection Organisations (NPPO’s) in official inspection and surveillance programmes. The methods will be based on biochemical (detection of volatile organiccompounds (VOC) and nucleic acid), acoustic (including resonance), remote imaging (incorporating spectral andautomated data analysis) and trapping (especially Q-insect pests and Q-pathogen vectors). One of the main areas of work will be the optimisation of monitoring and sampling methods using interdisciplinary work on statistics and modelling.The methods will be primarily developed for use on-site and at the point of entry, though the methods will also be useful for ‘at-origin’ inspections. The project will concentrate on developing methods for economically and environmentally important quarantine pests where currently we lack adequate methods in the agricultural, horticultural and forestry areas.The methods will support NPPO’s in the implementation of Council Directive 2000/29/EC.The consortium has identified the major challenges in achieving these ambitious goals and as a result formulated four principal project objectives.


1. Investigate and develop a range of enabling technologies for the detection of quarantine pests by NPPOs.

2. Validate the methods by close collaboration with countries both inside and outside the EU where the target organism is
present, such that the technologies can be tested on real material in real inspection situations.

3. By working with inspection services and NPPOs, model the complex role and relationships between plant health
inspections, the use of different detection methods, monitoring and sampling techniques. Model potential outcomes of
the use of new detection techniques and evaluate the benefits of their use to NPPOs and Inspection services.

4. By working with NPPOs, European Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) as well as third countries, disseminate the findings of the work widely within the community, both within and outside of Europe. In doing so foster harmonisation of protocols and methods of detection both within EU countries and also those countries who export to the EU.The four principal project objectives will be achieved through a range of measurable objectives, each one related to a specific Work Package and will encompass developing methods for economically and environmentally important quarantinepests where currently we lack adequate methods in the agricultural, horticultural and forestry areas.


The objectives of the seven Work Packages are:


Work Package 1. To coordinate and manage the project.

Work Package 2. To develop a model based on the inspection work performed by NNPOs to enable the evaluation of outcomes based
on changes in sampling protocols, points of detection, types and changes of detection technologies.

Work Package 3. To develop methods based on the detection of volatile organic compounds.

Work Package 4. To further develop strategies and methods for trapping q-pests and vectors of q-pathogens.

Work Package 5. To develop detection methods based on bio-acoustics and remote imaging.

Work Package 6. To develop rapid, simple and reliable confirmatory and monitoring methods based on the detection of nucleic acid.

Work Package 7. To disseminate results obtained within the project and to evaluate the methods in mandated labs within the EU and third countries









Latest Update 05.August.2011


Q-Detect Phytosanitary Newsletters

Q-Detect News Nr. 1-December 2010


Q-Detect News Nr. 2-March 2011

 Modelling Logistics

Q-Detect News Nr. 3-July 2011

 Volatile Detection

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