Phytophthora are a genus of pathogens responsible for some of the most significant biosecurity incursions around the world. They are the causal agent for numerous diseases, including Kauri dieback disease. Phytophthora could have disastrous impacts on New Zealand’s horticulture, forestry and natural ecosystems. There are hundreds of Phytophthora species around the globe and new species are discovered all the time. The risk to our industry is largely unknown, but globally phytophthora risk is considered to be increasing.
Therefore, KVH and MPI are undertaking a joint readiness programme to consider how we should prepare for an incursion and how we would respond should this occur. To launch this preparedness for phytophthora, a workshop was held last week to brainstorm current knowledge, response scenarios and knowledge gaps to be filled by research.
The workshop was also attended by members of Zespri and Plant and Food Research and the outcomes will form the basis of a GIA readiness plan using a similar process to what we did previously for Brazilian wilt, Ceratocystis fimbriata.