Core Partner, Plant viruses, EU


The Julius Kühn Insitute(JKI) is the Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants in Germany and an autonomous superior federal authority directly subordinated to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL).We carry out both basic and applied research to provide a scientific foundation for our statutory work and for political consulting. Our tasks are directly laid down in laws and regulations, for instance in the German Plant Protection Act from 2012, updated in 2016.

The JKI commitment to healthy and sustainable production of cultivated plants comprising research, assessment and advice is so far unparalleled in Germany.

It is the great challenge of the 21st century to ensure a sufficient supply of biological resources to a growing world population. This concerns first and foremost food and animal feed. However, we are also facing a constantly growing need of renewable raw materials for purposes such as paper making, cosmetics, paints, bio-lubricants, pharmaceutics, detergents, clothes, etc., but also for the production of energy (biogas, bioethanol). Climate change, global trade and travel as well as changes in cultivation techniques open new pathogen highways, leading to high dynamics in pathogen spread and evolution. This is especially true for viruses/viroids due to their following institutes conduct research on plant viruses/viroids: Institute for Epidemiology and Pathogen Diagnostics (EP), located in Braunschweig, and Institute for Plant Protection in Fruit Crops and Viticulture (OW), located in Dossenheim.

As required in the German Plant Protection Act and EU regulation 2017/625 JKI is currently establishing the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for diagnosis of plant quarantine pests in Germany. As a requirement, JKI is currently preparing for accreditation according to DIN EN ISO/IEC17025 (competence of testing and calibration laboratories). As NRL, JKI will carry out various additional tasks, including organisation of proficiency testing for national plant protection organizations (NPPOs), organisation of training schools, providing of reference materials, and servingas contact point for both NPPOs and the European Reference Laboratory. The electron microscopy (EM) unit at EP investigates virus/viroid biology and the ultrastructure of virus-host interactions. EM services are provided to NPPOs when other diagnostic tools (e.g. ELISA, PCR) fail and/or new emerging viruses/viroids are suspected. Additionally, EM confirms quality of virus purifications and reference material used by JKI scientists. This service of quality check of reference material is also provided to DSMZ as requested in frame of their accreditation DIN EN ISO 17034:2017.Associated with document Ref. Ares(2019)7108488 - 18/11/2019