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Completed project

Improving plant industry access to new genetics through faster and more accurate diagnostics using next generation sequencing (MT18005)

Key research provider: Queensland University of Technology
Publication date: Wednesday, August 23, 2023

What was it all about?

Rapid and safe access to new plant genetic stocks is crucial for plant primary industries to remain profitable, sustainable, and internationally competitive. Currently, new plant material entering Australia can spend up to three years in post-entry quarantine facilities undergoing pathogen testing.

A diagnostic platform that is scalable, robust, accurate, and rapid is needed for post-entry quarantine to expedite phytosanitary screening and allow imported plants to move through the quarantine process more quickly potentially. A technology known as next generation offers a fast, reliable and cost-effective method to identify all known plant pathogens in a single test.

From 2018 to 2023, Hort Innovation worked in partnership with quarantine agencies in Australia and New Zealand to develop an end-to-end quality assurance program and standard operating procedures, which are harmonised with international best practices, to enable the adoption of next generation sequencing technology for phytosanitary screening of exotic pests in post-entry quarantine facilities.

This new capability will enhance Australia’s biosecurity system safeguarding domestic plant industries from exotic pests and enabling plant industries to gain accelerated access to new plant genetics to facilitate their access to high-value market opportunities.


This project was a multi-industry strategic levy investment in the Hort Innovation Citrus, Nursery, Potato - Fresh, Potato - Processing, Raspberry and Blackberry and Table Grape Funds