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International Seed Testing Association
International Seed Testing Association
Richtiarkade 18
8304 Wallisellen, CH
+41 44 838 60 00
International Seed Testing Association

Variety Committee

The Variety Committee is responsible for Chapter 8 of the ISTA International Rules for Seed Testing, which deals with methods of variety verification. ISTA’s objective for variety verification is the determination of the extent to which a seed sample conforms to the species or cultivar for which it is claimed.


  1. To focus on the elaboration and introduction of new and improved bio-molecular methods for the verification of varieties, including microsatellite DNA markers for wheat and maize.
  2. To carry out inter-laboratory validation studies of microsatellite markers for the verification of cultivars of other high interest crops, such as soybean, pea, oat and barley.
  3. To add new marker types, such as those based on single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs)
  4. To establish ISTA’s first Proficiency Test for the verification of cultivars by means of molecular markers.


Variety Verification testing is important to confirm a reliable varietal purity and varietal identity of a seed lot.


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