NSHS Updates

May 2017:

March 2017:

January 2017:


Revisions to NSHS Methods

Several NSHS-approved methods are linked to official methods of ISTA, the International Seed Testing Association. As of Jan 1, 2017, ISTA published revisions to several methods that are NSHS-approved. These are minor revisions, and they have been adopted by NSHS after review by the NSHS Administration Unit. 

Minor revisions were made to NSHS methods Be 1.2, Be 3.1, Be 5.1, Pe 1.1, Pe 1.4, Pe 2.1, Pe 3.1, Pe 4.1, Br 1.1, Rb 2.1, Rb 3.1, Cb 3.1, Cb 4.1, and Cb5.1.

Labs accredited to perform these methods may adopt the new versions at any time between Jan 2017 until their next accreditation renewal. During accreditation renewals occurring after Jan 2017, auditors will expect to see adoption of the revised methods. For further information, contact us at nshs@iastate.edu.


Numbering changes for NSHS method codes

Numbered codes for NSHS-approved methods were initially established in 2001. As the method list has grown, it has become evident that some inconsistencies developed. In order to resolve these inconsistencies, codes for some methods have been revised. These changes primarily affect methods for corn and soybean. The only vegetable methods that have new codes are the methods for Lettuce mosaic virus. NSHS method codes can be found here. Current and former codes are listed.

Labs accredited to perform these methods may revise their documentation at any time between Jan 2017 until their next accreditation renewal. During accreditation renewals occurring after Jan 2017, auditors will expect to see documentation using the new method codes. For further information, contact us at nshs@iastate.edu.


October 2016:


Suspension of Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid method

The use of NSHS Method So 6.1, Potato Spindle Tuber Viroid – tomato, has been suspended and the method has been removed from the approved NSHS list. Effective October 14, 2016, this method cannot be used to support phytosanitary certification. NSHS is working with stakeholders to facilitate revision of the method, as well as the availability of alternative methods for PSTVd testing for phytosanitary certification.


September 2016:


Field Inspection Procedure

Editorial updates have been made to the protocol for field inspections.  Changes were made to clarify the diagnosis of diseases found during inspections. Additionally, there must be an agreement in writing with any 3rd party laboratories doing diagnosis of field inspection samples.  This is not a new requirement but was clarified in the inspection procedure.  The updated method can be found on the methods tab.   

Corn and Soybean ELISA protocols

Recently changes were made to NSHS protocols for corn and soybean ELISA methods.  Previously, these methods listed only one antibody vendor.  Changes have been made to specify that antibodies from other vendors, that have been proven to be suitable, may be used for these methods.  The updated methods are available under the methods tab. 


July 2016:

NSHS Administration Unit Personnel Changes

We are excited to welcome Dr. Charlie Block to the NSHS team at ISU! The ISU Seed Science Center serves as the Administration Unit for NSHS, acting as liaison with accredited companies and associations, developing procedures for accredited activities, and conducting technical reviews of proposed seed health testing methods. With the addition of Dr. Block, we are re-arranging some NSHS responsibilities within the Seed Science Center staff.

  • Dr. Charlie Block will serve as Administration Unit Co-Director, with responsibilities for carrying out technical reviews of laboratory seed health testing methods. Methods proposed for NSHS approval and other correspondence related to NSHS seed health testing methods should be directed to Charlie.
  • Dr. Tracy Bruns will continue as Accreditation Coordinator; new applications for accreditation and accreditation renewals should be directed to Tracy. She is responsible for preliminary evaluation of accreditation materials and communication with USDA-APHIS for application processing. Tracy also is acting as liaison for participants in the CGMMV pilot program (NSHAPP).
  • Dr. Gary Munkvold will serve as Administration Unit Co-Director, working closely with Charlie and Tracy on development of accreditation and method review procedures, overseeing research efforts on seed health method development and improvement, and securing funding for NSHS Administration Unit operations.

We thank Dr. Nancy Gonzalez for her efforts on technical reviews of laboratory methods and website management. Going forward, Nancy will be shifting to 100% effort on research projects. 

June 2016:


April 2016:


February 2016:

  • Several seed health methods have been updated: 

  • Archived methods: "Archived methods" are methods that were classified as Temporary Standard methods (B methods) but were not listed on the accreditation of any NSHS participants. These methods have been removed from the official NSHS list of methods and are not to be used for phytosanitary certification unless separate APHIS authorization is given. These methods can be found under the Methods tab by clicking on "Archived methods."


January 2016:

  • Accreditation Application form can now be submitted online. It can be found under the Accreditation tab.