SEFARI - Leading ideas on crops

See the latest booklet from SEFARI describing just some of the areas where collaborative interdisciplinary research from the six SEFARI institutes and Centres of Expertise are making a difference to Scotland.

New £2 million grant from the Bacteria Diseases Initiative for research on blackleg disease of potato

A £2 million grant has been awarded to work on the bacterial pathogen Pectobacterium atrosepticum, the causal agent of blackleg disease in potato. The award, from the Strategic Priorities Fund - Bacterial Diseases Initiative funded by BBSRC, NERC, Defra and Scottish Government, addresses threats to UK plant health and biosecurity from bacterial diseases. This is a multi-partner award including academics, industry and government.

Plant Health Centre to chair working group on Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN)

The Plant Health Centre has been asked by Scottish Government to chair a working group on Potato Cyst Nematode (PCN) following our recently completed report, which can be found on the 'Projects' section of our website.

Gardeners being warned not to plant or compost any unsolicited seed packages received through post

The Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) reports that people are receiving unsolicited seed packages through the post that are thought to be part of an e-commerce scam. These seeds could pose a significant risk to the environment. If you receive any unsolicited seed packages through the post, please do not plant of compost them as it could result in the spread of an invasive, non-native species or introduce pests and pathogens. 

New Plant Health Measures in force from 26th June 2020

Today new strengthened measures to assist the fight against Agrilus planipennis (Emerald ash borer) and Candidatus Phytoplasma Ulmi (Elm yellows) will be introduced into Scotland. This means any imports directly into Scotland, of certain hosts of these pests, will need to meet the criteria set out in The Plant Health (Official Controls and Miscellaneous Provisions) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Scotland) Regulations 2020 – Schedule

Failure to comply with these regulations will mean the stock will either be destroyed or sent back at your expense.

Social Distancing Advice for Horticulture, Fruit & Vegetable Industry Sector

Scottish Government have issued social distancing guidance for the Horticulture, Fruit and Vegetable Industry Sector to support stakeholders develop safe working practices to reduce the spread of COVID-19

Xylella could cost billions

Researchers have estimated the cost of Xylella fastidiosa to over €20 billion and the UK restricts olive tree imports.

New Scottish measures to fight Xyllela and other plant health threats

In response to the continuous plant health threats from Xylella fastidiosa, in consultation with stakeholders and the Plant Health Authorities in England, changes will be made from 21 April 2020 (Defra) and 27 June 2020 (Scotland) to strengthen measures against Xylella, emerald ash borer, canker stain of plane and elm yellows. Read on ...

The Plant Health Centre during COVID-19

While the lockdown is forcing everyone to stay at home, members of the Plant Health Centre and our project partners are doing our best to carry on regardless. We have been focussing on our desk-based work and communicating through various video conferencing programmes (see image). Please visit the Centre's web pages regularly to stay in touch with what's been happening, and if you have any questions don't forget you can write to us at:


In these very uncertain times for the horticulture industry, when millions of garden plants are set to be destroyed due to the closure of garden centres during the COVID-19 outbreak, the Horticulture Trade Association (HTA) and partners have produced a web site listing on-line plant suppliers for consumers to get the plants they need.
The website called ‘Plants Near Me’ is available at