Developing tools to detect Pelargonium zonate spot virus

19 May 2016

The kiwifruit industry is funding a project that will provide tools to detect Pelargonium zonate spot virus (PZSV) should it arrive in New Zealand.

PZSV is one of only two viruses known to induce severe symptoms in kiwifruit. This virus is widely distributed in many species but has only been reported in kiwifruit in Italy. It has not been reported in New Zealand.

Permission is being sought from MPI to import freeze-dried tissue containing PZSV and its use as reference material (positive control) to evaluate a molecular test for detection of the virus. The test would be used for the benefit of the industry by testing incoming material and providing a tool for rapid testing should we be faced with an incursion of this organism.

Any risks involved in this would be very carefully managed.

Click here for a factsheet on the potential risks and how these will be managed.