Index: History/ Mission/ Services/ Accreditation/Policy Statement/ Facilities/ Areas of Technical Expertise/ Activities/ 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 diseases (temporarily not active) or bacterial and viral seed-transmitted diseases.
Varieties Certified for Sale: This activity is suspended due to upcoming significant changes in the Seed Regulations. 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, Vigour testing, 1000 seeds weight, Seed moisture content, Testing coated seed and Seed Health Testing and Sampling (with collaboration of PPIS).Scope of ISTA Accreditation: type of tests, detailed standard methods.
The laboratory is also accredited by the Israel Laboratory Accreditation Authority (ISRAC), according to ISO/IEC 17025 for Health tests - see scope of ISRAC accreditation
The laboratory quality system, meets the requirements of the ISTA Accreditation Standard for Seed Testing Laboratories, based on ISO/IEC 17025 and the current ISTA International Rules for Seed Testing.
Management and analysts are committed to the quality system. The quality documentation is regularly reviewed on effectiveness. It is pragmatic, efficient and up to date.
The Official Seed Testing Laboratory bases its activity on the quality of service given to customers. Seed Laboratory management and staff act to provide customers with high-quality service, as defined in the International Rules and according to the Israeli Law requirements.
The tests are performed accurately and reliably, in time and at and at a cost determined by the Department of Finance, Agricultural Research Organization, (ARO), Ministry of Agriculture.
Within this framework the laboratory pursues and emphasizes the following objectives:
- Quality of service
The quality system established in the laboratory ensures continuous control on quality of service. An advanced quality system will be achieved through continuously drawing conclusions , as a stimulant for persistent improvement.
- Laboratory staff
Excellence is based on staff quality. A systematic promotion of skills and knowledge of all staff members is accomplished by appropriate training, and internal/external quality control. The staff is fully aware of their authorities and responsibilities and is committed to self-reliance, self-control and prevention of errors.
- Customer focus
The laboratory maintains close contact with customers to keep abreast of their requirements and expectations as well as to provide independent, timely, accurate and reproducible analysis results, essential for the efficient operation of their businesses. The laboratory will initiate constant improvements of service quality and will act to enhance its professional standards.
Management commitment to the quality system forms the basis for the laboratory development and progress, customer benefit and staff welfare.
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 (temporarily not active).
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
* OECD - Varietal purity testing of field crops for OECD certification.