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24, chemin de Borde Rouge -Auzeville - CS52627 31326 Castanet Tolosan cedex - France

Last update: May 2021

Menu Logo Principal

PVY Organization

Zone de texte éditable et éditée

England (UK)

Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA)

TheFood and Environment Research Agency (FERA) is an executive agency of the Department of for Environment, Food and Rural affairs (Defra). The virology sub-team sits within Pest & Disease Identification, a multidisciplinary team with expertise in bacteriology, entomology, mycology, nematology, molecular biology as well as virology.
The virology sub-team provides a plant virology diagnostic service to Defra and other UK and overseas governments as well as a range of commercial clients. Our work includes the diagnosis of plant diseases caused by viruses, viroids and phytoplasmas. We also support the British potato industry by providing a potato tuber virus indexing service, both conventional (growing on) and the more rapid direct test (TaqMan based).
In support of our diagnostic work FERA also develops, evaluates and validates novel techniques for the detection and diagnosis of plant viruses, previous work has included the development of real-time RT-PCR techniques and lateral flow test kits for ‘in field’ detection of potato viruses. Current work includes the development of microarray methods for virus screening and genomic sequencing methods for assessing and monitoring potato virus variability in the field.
In support of the British Seed Potato Industry, FERA also runs an aphid-monitoring scheme, to give growers information on aphid pressure in real time throughout the growing season. This provides information on the potential risk of virus transmission, but must be taken into account with other agronomic factors. There is a website ( that details the results from 100 field-based water traps, which is all funded by the Potato Council and provides the data to all levy payers. The scheme is also run on a commercial basis, allowing individual growers or grower groups to maintain traps in their fields and get rapid information on the aphids flying in their crops.

Heads of the team:
Immunological and Molecular Methods
 Neil Boonham

 Adrian Fox
Aphid Monitoring
 Phil Northing

Food and Environment Research Agency

Sand Hutton, York YO41 1LZ


Tel: +44 (0)1904 462747

Fax: +44 (0)1904 462111