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Ongoing project

Maximising the biosecurity of the Australian citrus industry budwood facility (CT17003)

Key research provider: Auscitrus

What’s it all about?

Beginning in January 2018, this investment is tasked with increasing the preparedness of the Australian citrus industry for any future incursion of the Asiatic citrus psyllid and the accompanying disease Huanglongbing (HLB). It is providing funding for a structure to be built to house Auscitrus-grown citrus budwood plants under insect-proof conditions as part of the National Citrus Repository (NCR) program – ensuring a source of HLB-free budwood for Australian citrus nurseries.

While supply trees have been traditionally maintained in open-orchard conditions, with routine testing, an increased prevalence of HLB in neighbouring countries and greater pressure on Australia’s quarantine borders mean the risk of an HLB outbreak has grown.

The availability of HLB-free budwood is seen as a critical factor in mitigating the spread of any future incursion of HLB, and in redeveloping orchards potentially affected as a result of this.

Construction of the screenhouse is now underway. At its completion, the project will have developed a physical structure designed to exclude Asiatic citrus psyllid in the production of citrus budwood, tested free of HLB and endemic graft-transmissible diseases. It’s also expected that the project will help raise awareness of HLB among citrus growers and nurseries.

Related levy funds

This project is a strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus Fund