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CRC40016: Pathogen Eradication Strategies

This project will provide alternative eradication strategies for emergency plant pest incursions on perennial crops. It will also reduce economic costs and social impact from emergency plant pest eradication measures. The viticulture industry has been selected as an initial pilot with a focus on developing alternative pruning techniques to remove the emergency plant pest but allow enough residual plant material to ensure rapid grapevine regeneration.

What is the biosecurity problem?

The current strategy to eradicate an emergency plant pest is based partly on the removal of whole affected plants, followed by burning and burial. However, this practice incurs significant costs to industry and the community when perennial species are involved. Alternative strategies need to be developed that meet eradication goals while reducing the economic and social impact.

The main outputs of this project are to:

  • conduct due diligence on current eradication strategies using responses to citrus canker, fireblight and banana freckle as case studies
  • develop a research and development model system that features identification of endemic pathogens with similar biology and epidemiology to high priority target emergency plant pests and a system for the validation of eradication strategies in countries where the emergency plant pest is endemic
  • develop novel alternative strategies that meet eradication goals while minimising negative economic and social impact.
  • implement novel research strategies on key exotic diseases in partnership with leading international laboratories.

Who will be the end-users of this research?

Contact with industry through grower workshops and meetings throughout the project will provide important feedback on the practicality and economic advantage of proposed alternative eradication strategies. The development of strategies will be undertaken in consultation with relevant regulatory authorities. Plant Health Australia will be engaged to gain an understanding of the possible implications of the new drastic pruning strategy in the context of PLANTPLAN.


Dr Mark Sosnowski
Project Leader CRC40016: Pathogen Eradication Strategies
Phone: 08 8303 9489
Fax: 08 8303 9393

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July 2006 – June 2011
$618, 227 (cash and in-kind support)