Enhancements to Acceptance Sampling Methods for Crop Seed Lot Purity TestingView Presentation Jean-Louis Laffont, Pioneer Génétique
*Kirk Murlin Remund, Monsanto Company
Keywords: acceptance sampling, group testing, transgenic traits, assay error rates
Recent advances in agricultural biotechnology have produced many new crop varieties with transgenic traits. These varieties are being, and will continue to be, marketed alongside conventional non-transgenic varieties. As a result, seed purity in commercial seed lots is of particular importance to both seed consumers and seed producers. Acceptance sampling methods using group testing (i.e., testing seed pools rather than individual seeds) have been used to ensure that seed lots meet purity specifications. The paper presents the technical enhancements to acceptance sampling methods from the 1940s to address crop seed purity requirements in the year 2011 and beyond. These methodology enhancements include group testing, empirical bayes, assay error rates incorporation and multinomial group testing for the detection of stacked transgenic traits. All of these enhancements have been included in a Microsoft Excel® spreadsheet application called SeedCalc that is broadly used today by many seed testing companies and regulatory organizations globally.