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Expert Reactions

Myrtle rust discovered on Raoul Island – Expert Reaction

Sarah-Jane O'Connor posted in on April 4th, 2017.

DOC staff on the Kermadecs’ Raoul Island have confirmed the discovery of the fungal plant disease myrtle rust on pōhutukawa trees. If it entered mainland New Zealand, the fungus could affect iconic species such as pōhutukawa, kānuka, mānuka and rātā. In a statement, MPI’s Director Readiness and Response, Geoff Gwyn, said myrtle rust spores can carry long […]

Unstable countries a biosecurity threat – Expert reaction

John Kerr posted in on June 15th, 2016.

New Zealand could dramatically reduce outbreaks of invasive species if it selectively chose its international trade partners, suggests new research. Reviewing almost 50,000 exotic species border interceptions from the last 10 years, Victoria University researchers have identified the types of countries most likely to be a source of imported exotic invaders. Read more about the […]

Fruit fly incursion – experts respond

John Kerr posted in on February 24th, 2015.

Containment at early stages is critical, say experts commenting on the detection of Queensland fruit flies in Auckland. The flies, which pose a threat to export fruit and vegetable markets, were first detected in a surveillance trap last week. The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has put in place a restriction zone, limiting the movement […]

Fruit fly find prompts Auckland lockdown

John Kerr posted in on February 19th, 2015.

The discovery of solitary male Queensland fruit fly in the Grey Lynn area of Auckland has biosecurity authorities on high alert and prompted a lockdown on the movement of fruit and vegetables in the area. The fly was found in a Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) surveillance trap on Monday night and 1.5 kilometer control […]

Fast-growing pasture: feed or weed? Experts respond

John Kerr posted in on November 4th, 2014.

Farmers who use plant varieties that become invasive weeds should pay a levy to cover any environmental management costs, say the authors of a new study. As breeding technologies produce faster-growing, more hardy pasture plants, the potential impact of wild-growing pasture in the wider environment grows, warn the authors of a new article published in […]

Pests costing economy and environment – RSNZ paper

John Kerr posted in on March 28th, 2014.

Weeds, wasps, rats and sea squirts are among a swarm of pests and diseases that represent a growing threat to New Zealand’s economy and environment, according to a new report released this week by the Royal Society of New Zealand. Challenges for pest management in New Zealand is authored by a panel led by Royal […]

Biosecurity forum looks hard at NZ border

John Kerr posted in on July 12th, 2013.

Biosecurity in New Zealand- have we gone soft at the border? was the title of a conference which has raised more than few critical questions about New Zealand’s border security. Held this week by the New Zealand Institute of Agricultural & Horticultural Science (NZIAHS), the forum brought together researchers and policy makers to discuss New […]

Psa genome in the news

John Kerr posted in on March 1st, 2013.

The long-awaited publication of the Psa-V genome has been widely reported in the news. The research, under taken by Prof Russel Poutler and Colleagues at the University of Otago, was published this week in PLoS ONE. The new study confirms a Chinese origin for the bacteria and reveals gentic clues about why this variant of the plant […]

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Ian Ferguson (Plant & Food) talks Future Plants

John Kerr posted in on May 18th, 2012.

To celebrate Fascination of Plants Day, Plant & Food have collated video interviews with their experts as well as their favorite plant images and facts on their website. You can watch Plant & Food Research’s Chief Scientist Ian Ferguson talks about the future of plant science below.

Otago scientists tracing Psa’s pathway across border

Peter Griffin posted in on April 4th, 2012.

Samples of  kiwifruit pollen collected from the Bay of Plenty and South Auckland in 2009 and 2010  contain DNA from the bacteria that causes vine canker — Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae (Psa) — and researchers say there is now evidence that the  disease incursion originated in China. In recent years New Zealand imported only 2kg […]

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