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Ongoing project

Streamlining diagnostics for horticultural seeds imported into Australia (BY22011)

Key research provider: Agriculture Victoria

What's it all about?

This investment is developing a single diagnostic test (as opposed to the many tests currently required) to detect and mitigate the risk of introducing pathogens into the Australian horticulture sector via imported seeds.

Seeds are a pathway for the global spread of many significant pathogens that impact crop production, including bacteria, fungi and viruses.

The aim is to develop cost-effective, quality-assured methods that are simple to implement. The methodologies to be trialled will be based on high throughput sequencing technology, which is currently being developed for detecting viruses while screening high-value horticulture crops in post-entry quarantine.

The methods will be underpinned by valuable epidemiology information for some key pathogens to investigate the link between seed infestation rates and disease outbreaks in Australia.

The need for using these testing methods will be informed by gathering baseline data about the presence of regulated pests in Australia.

The project team will closely with a research team in Europe via the Euphresco network for phytosanitary research, coordination and funding to develop methods for sharing infested seed lots for research purposes and to provide positive controls to seed testing laboratories worldwide.