Index: History/ Mission/ Services/ Accreditation/ Facilities/ Areas of Technical Expertise/ Activities/ Policy Declaration/ Organization Chart
The laboratory was founded in 1938 by Prof. Menko Plaut and subsequently developed under the direction of Dr. Haya Gelmond (who formulated the Seed Law - 1956 and the Plant Breeders Rights Law - 1973) until 1976. Dr. Dov Globerson headed the laboratory from 1976 to 1993. From 1993 Lea Mazor, M.Sc directed the laboratory and brought it to its current status.The laboratory is part of the Institute of Plant Sciences of the Agricultural Research Organization at Volcani Center.
The Israel Official Seed Testing Laboratory has been an ISTA member since its establishment and is re-accredited by ISTA since 2001 and by the Israel Laboratory Accreditation Authority (ISRAC) since 2002 according to ISO/IEC 17025.
The laboratory's major function is to perform reliable seed testing to ensure and promote seed quality of commercial seeds intended for import, export and local marketing in Israel.
The laboratory is engaged both in scientific research and in scientific services, including laboratory testing and field-trials of commercial seed quality.
Research is conducted in various areas related to maintenance and improvement of seed quality, such as development and adaptation of new testing methods for seed vigour and for detection of seed-transmitted pathogens; solving problems arising during quality testing; and introduction of methods for rapid evaluation of seed quality and viability.
Seed tests in the laboratory are conducted in many crops (vegetables, field crops, flowers and trees) according to ISTA Rules or Quality Manual procedures:
1. Purity: Visual separation of sample fractions; identifying cultivated seeds, noxious and weed seeds; determining 1000-seed weight; determining the fraction of damaged seeds for cotton and peanuts.
2. Germination: Germinability of seeds under various conditions, including dormancy breaking; tetrazolium and other viability tests; seed vigour measurements using: cool test, cold test and conductivity tests; seed moisture content, etc.
3. Seed Health: Detection and identification of quarantine diseases as well as diseases already existing is Israel. Two sections of the laboratory identify either fungal or bacterial and viral seed-transmitted diseases.
Varieties Certified for Sale: The Laboratory manages and publishes the List of Varieties Eligible for Sale in Israel (in Hebrew), which contains all the varieties which have been checked and approved for sale in Israel.
The Israel Official Seed Testing Laboratory (ILDL01) is accredited by the International Seed Testing Association and may issue ISTA International Seed Analysis Certificates for the following tests: Purity analysis, Determination of other seeds by number, Germination test, 1000 seeds weight, Testing coated seed and Seed Health Testing and Sampling (with collaboration of PPIS).
The laboratory is also accredited by the Israel Laboratory Accreditation Authority (ISRAC), according to ISO/IEC 17025 and to the extent of accreditation as mentioned above (except for sampling).
Scope of ISTA Accreditation
Scope of ISRAC Accreditation
The laboratory has the essential equipment and infrastructure facilities for purity determination, germination and health tests. These include germination rooms and cabins, incubators, balances, dividers, a laboratory mill, an autoclave, chemical hoods, biological hood, laminar-flow, an oven, a centrifuge, water baths, microscopes, binoculars and equipment for electrophoresis, PCR, UV camera and ELISA reader.
The staff has appropriate working conditions which ensure proper execution of the tests.
Areas of Technical Expertise
The staff has expertise in seed quality testing on the following crops: vegetables, field crops, flowers and tree seeds.
Staff members specializations include botany, taxonomy, morphology, physiology, agrotechnique and phytopathology.
* Improving germination of field crops (sunflower, cotton, peanut).
* Developing methods for testing quality of vegetable seeds for export.
* Developing methods for testing seed vigour of field & garden crops.
* Biochemical tests for viability.
* New approaches for detection of pathogens on seeds.
* The detection of seed-borne fungal diseases of vegetables.
Consultancy & training:
* Teaching courses in seed quality testing and production.
* In-house employee training in related areas.
* Training and consultancy for seed industry administration and workers.
* Training, guidance and demonstrations for university students.
* Periodical training for Israel Plant Protection and Inspection Services (PPIS) inspectors.
* ISTA - GERMINATION COMMITTEE: Sub-tropical species etc.
* ISTA - FLOWER SEED COMMITTEE: Handbook on Flower Seed Testing.
* ISTA - SEED HEALTH COMMITTE: Phytosanitary sub-committee etc.
* ISTA - ISHI-Vegetable: Method validation program for:
1. Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. michiganensis in tomato seeds.
2. Botrytis allii in onion seeds.
* OECD - Varietal purity testing of field crops for OECD certification.
Policy Declaration (in Hebrew)