Plantovita is one of five laboratories in the Potato Laboratory Service Group with the understanding that these laboratories are independent companies.
Planting material presented for certification is tested by Potato Laboratory Service for the presence of specific bacterial and virus diseases as required. The purpose of these tests is to determine whether the planting material submitted complies with the disease tolerances as prescribed in the Potato Certification schemes concerned. The advantage of these tests is the detection and quantification of harmful tuber-borne diseases occurring in seed – even in latent infections.
The investigations are conducted at five national laboratories. The laboratories are registered with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in terms of the Plant Improvement Act, 1976(Act nr. 15 of 1976). All five participating laboratories enjoy the approval of the Independent Certification Council for Seed Potatoes (ICCSP) for the performance of specific tests, namely tests in respect of viruses (PVY, PLRV and TSWV), bacterial wilt and the golden cyst nematode.111
Plantovita as controlling laboratory is furthermore registered by DAFF and approved by the ICCSP to in addition, conduct tests for the detection of PVA, PVM, PVS, PVX as well as rendering a diffused-light sprout facility for True-to- Type testing by evaluation of cultivar homogeneity in submitted post-control samples by PCS.
In order to serve the industry effectively the laboratories are situated strategically in areas as follows: the Sandveld laboratory at Piketberg, the Northern Cape laboratory at Douglas, the Wesgrow laboratory at Christiana and the KwaZulu-Natal laboratory at Pietermaritzburg. Plantovita, situated at Zeekoegat, north of Pretoria, services amongst others the Mpumalanga, Limpopo, and Eastern Free State areas.