Product News: Auto-Montage Pro Helps Speed up California’s Agricultural Import Process

05 Sep 2006

Syncroscopy, the world leader in unique digital imaging solutions for microscopy is pleased to announce that Auto-Montage Pro, its premier 3D image reconstruction software, is being used at a major US plant quarantine enforcement centre, Los Angeles County Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures, to produce perfectly in-focus images, ensuring rapid and accurate identification of crop pests.

Researchers in the Entomology Laboratory at the Los Angeles County Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures are using Auto-Montage Pro to generate focused images of important agricultural pests including snails, slugs, beetles, moths, weevils and ants entering California’s ports and airports. Many of these images are being used by quarantine inspectors to make crucial decisions on whether or not to quarantine agricultural crop and commodity shipments containing these pests.

Dr Gevork Arakelian, Senior Biologist at Los Angeles County Department of Agricultural Commissioner/Weights and Measures stated: “We have between five and six thousand potential plant pests to identify each year and to obtain good in-focus images for our pest picture database we used to take several photos of body parts of each specimen so we could have all the necessary taxonomic characters. This was not only time consuming but took up a lot of storage space on our computers.”

“We chose Auto-Montage Pro because it generates one crisp in-focus image showing all the detail we need for identification. This reduces workload of quarantine inspectors, makes field identifications easier and speeds up the process of detection and submission of samples to our laboratory for confirmation,” continued Dr Arakelian.

Jason Dempsey, Syncroscopy's Product Specialist concluded: “We are delighted to see Auto-Montage Pro contributing to such a commercially important application. Since Auto-Montage can speed up identification of crop pests this allows faster decisions to be made on quarantining perishable products, preventing food being thrown away and potentially saving the state millions of dollars.”