Improving plant industry access to new genetics through faster and more accurate diagnostics using next generation sequencing (MT18005)
Monday, 2 September 2019
A new Hort Innovation levy-funded project seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of virus detection in plant genetic material in post-entry quarantine facilities, through the adoption of next generation sequencing.
Utilisation of this sequencing technology will improve current methods and techniques to allow for quicker access to new genetic stocks. The technology is a cost-effective option which has potential to increase business resilience, by allowing the import of larger panels of genetic stocks to adapt to local environmental conditions.
Past research has found utilising next generation sequencing has great promise; strongly correlating with methods currently used at post entry quarantine (PEQ) facilities.
In 2018, the Australian horticultural sector exported an estimated $2.4 billion of produce highlighting the importance of importing ‘clean’ and true-to-type plant materials that improve biosecurity and provide access to valuable markets.
Run by The Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in collaboration with Agriculture Victoria, the Department of Agriculture (DA) and New Zealand Ministry of Primary Industries (NZ MPI), the project aims to develop a useful tool for plant pathologists, enabling users to conduct shorter, more efficient and accurate plant pest screenings.