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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 W├Ądenswil, 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

International Innovation - version Francaise


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




News related to Q-detect work


Innovative integration of canine-assisted detection of Asian long-horn beetle  in the field by Swiss forestry phytosanitary inspectors.




PRI Wageningen develops a trolley to screen infected tulips




Acute oak decline threatens oak trees in Great Britain



Webmaster: Andreas Bühlmann 

Latest Update 04 May 2013


New prototype from Q-Detect partner q-linea for single molecule counting



A joint Q-Detect/ CAIQ training course on on-site identification with 80 participants was held in Beijing, CN, 16 - 18.1.2013.



News article on CORDIS (Community Research and Development Information Service) webpage




Dr. Hugh Mortimer on BBC Radio explaining how Q-Detect technology can help farmers detect plant diseasesby remote imaging. (Starts at 11:20)




Q-Detect partners Prof. Dr. Maja Ravnikar and Dr. Tanja Dreo held a lecture at the Biotechnical Faculty of the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia entitled "New research for healthy plants!"



Q-Detect technology transfer event to plant protection specialists in Slovenia - organised by our NIB partner on 22 January 2013


Q-DETECT partners testing novel LAMP assay for ash dieback disease in th UK

 ash dieback bbc

ash dieback bbc3


Trapping wood boring insects at Mediterraneanports


Phytosanitary Inspection at BBC




Sounds of Spondilis buprestoides and Red palm weevil eating bark Ps



Q-Detect on Swiss National Television



Industry-Research Partnership for Innovative Diagnostics

Genie II on-site detection testing


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


Q-Detect News Nr. 4-August 2012




Q-Detect News Nr. 5-August 2012 news5



Upcoming Events

This EU project has concluded and no further project-dedicated meetings are planned. Stay tuned though for notice of related meetings from other projects and phytosanitary organisations in the future.




 Recent Meetings

The Final Meeting joint with EPPO as a second Phytosanitary Inspector Training Course was held in Llubljana, Slovenia 18-22 February 2013.  Presentations and training materials will be posted soon.


The 24month project meeting was held at the BFW in Vienna, Austria - 12-13.6.2012



The 18-month project meeting was held at the University of Padova, Italy -- 12-25.11.2011.


Training Course for Phytosanitary Inspectors : This was a hands-on course targeted to stakeholder end-users of Q-Detect and will be a joint event with Q-Detect, EPPO and COST873



Q-Detect partnered with COST873 and BioSistemika to organise a training course on real-time PCR applications in plant protection (Llubljana, Slovenia; 29.11-02.12.2011)


The 12-month project meeting was held at NIB in Llubljana, Slovenia -- 20-21.04.2011.