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Alliance Meeting of BLE Funded Project "Nanoprobe Based Screening Approach for Plant Pathogen Detection" (NanoSPoD)

Computomics at 5th NanoSPoD Alliance Meeting

The development of innovative, rapid and robust diagnostic methods for plant pathogens is necessary to identify, monitor and develop appropriate management and control strategies. Computomics is a project partner in the collaborative project "Nanoprobe Based Screening Approach for Plant Pathogen Detection" (NanoSPoD) funded by the German Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE). The project partners met last week in Aachen for the 5th NanoSPoD Alliance Meeting.

The joint NanoSPoD project aims to establish a nanoprobe-based magnetic separation method (NBMS) for plant pathogens, to develop new molecular biological detection methods and uses and assess NBMS in conjunction with new and established diagnostics for QP and RNQP detection. The project is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME in Aachen.

Computomics is a partner in the subproject: Automated Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)-based screening of plant pathogens.

Alliance Meeting in Aachen

Sascha Patz and Josie Bretz met with project partners in Aachen. We discussed the technical details of a new prototype for instant virus detection using magnetic nanoprobes that allow multiplexing. We also compared its improved sensitivity with traditional methods such as qPCR, dPCR and antigen rapid test strips over the course of the infection.


Sascha Patz presenting MORPHEUS for virus detection

At the meeting, Sascha Patz presented MORPHEUS for virus detection in plant metagenomes. He was able to demonstrate its outstanding potential for early infection after just 1 day, without nanoprobe enrichment. As it requires deep sequencing, multiplexing is still limited. Therefore, the next experiment using nanoprobes will show whether enrichment can reduce the sequencing depth needed to increase the multiplexing capacity of NGS for early-stage detection to analyze many samples at once.

We are looking forward to the next steps of the project.

For more information please contact Sascha Patz (

Project Partners:

The project duration is three years (1 June 2021 – 31 July 2024).

The project is supported by funds of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) based on a decision of the Parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany via the Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) under the innovation support programme (2818710C19).

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