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Media Release

Territory awarded $1.2 million for biosecurity research

Publication date: 4 February 2016

The Northern Territory Government has been recognised for its ground-breaking research into Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus (CGMMV), winning a $1.2 million contract with Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation).

Minister for Primary Industry and Fisheries (DPIF) Willem Westra van Holthe said the funding demonstrates the high-quality research skills of DPIF scientists and staff.

“The Northern Territory is proving to be a global leader when it comes to knowing more about CGMMV, with DPIF the lead diagnostics agency since the September 2014 outbreak,” Minister Westra van Holthe said.

“We know this disease has the potential to cripple the cucurbit industry and it’s so important we limit further biosecurity incursions.”

The research project will involve works including:

  • Identification of weed hosts and non-host plants
  • Persistence and viability of CGMMV in soil and plant debris
  • Improved CGMMV seed testing
  • Assessment of in-field diagnostics for CGMMV
  • Examination of the contribution of bees in CGMMV transmission
  • Determination of the viability and distribution of CGMMV within honey bee hives
  • Extension and capacity building activities.

Hort Innovation Australia Research, Marketing and Investments General Manager David Moore said outcomes from the research project will be shared across Australia, as well as internationally.

“Growers have told us they are highly concerned about the real threat Cucumber Green Mottle Mosaic Virus presents their sectors and the health of the industry in general,” Mr Moore said.

“So we are drawing on the experience of the Territory Government, and industry, to give Australia the best possible chance to learn more about what it is we are dealing with, and how to better manage it to prevent the spread of CGMMV to uninfected States.”

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Farah Abdurahman
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