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Using unmanned aerial vehicles to demostrate freedom from exotic plant pathogens

Publication Type  Conference Proceedings
Year of Publication  2008
Authors  Bayliss, K.; Jensen, T.; Zeller, L.; Wagner, F.; Walker, R.; MacLeod, B.; Vawdrey, L.; Kong, G.
Conference Name  9th International Congress of Plant Pathology
Series Title  Journal of Plant Pathology
Edition  90 (S2)
Pagination  98
Conference Start Date  24/08/2008
Conference Location  Torino, Italy

Conventional suction-sampling spore traps have limited value for surveillance of exotic pathogens because their ‘catch’ capability is limited by the amount of air that passes through them and the spores are collected inside a single chamber making the detection of hourly and daily spore numbers impossible. Typically, they are passive, stationary devices that sample from fixed locations.
Some of these limitations have been addressed by development of a slit-type volumetric spore trap. The spore trap contains a rotating drum on which the spores are collected, with spore numbers being determined over 24 h or 7 day periods. The tape that collects the spores can be easily analysed to provide data not only on the number of spores collected within the set time period, but can also be narrowed down to calculate the number per hour of operation, allowing correlation with weather data. In addition, a method has been developed to extract DNA from the spores collected for molecular identification of species present.
The objectives of this project are to design and develop a lightweight, compact and on-the-go spore sampling device and to install it on an unmanned aerial vehicle that can traverse a predetermined path with the aim of enhancing the remote sensing detection methods for exotic plant pathogen surveillance.

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