AU: Novel research to manage biosecurity threat in vegetables

Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) and Bioseed Research India (BRI) have announced a strategic research partnership to undertake biosecurity research for management of tospoviruses in vegetables.

The recently commissioned research, worth over $1.1 million, will characterise the DNA sequence information for tospoviruses currently present in Australia, and those that are a potential biosecurity risk to Australian and Indian vegetable growers.
The partnership with BRI will allow Australian researchers to effectively develop management and control strategies for tospoviruses that are listed as a high risk in the Australian Vegetable Industry Biosecurity Plan.

The research objectives will also include use of novel tools to develop broad spectrum resistance to a number of tospoviruses in different vegetable crops, such as capsicum and chillies.

The cutting edge research will be undertaken at the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), the University of Queensland (UQ) in Australia and BRI in India.

Hort Innovation CEO, Mr John Lloyd, said the research partnership is a critical first step in addressing biosecurity risk due to a tosposvirus, particularly the Watermelon Silver Mottle Virus (WSMoV).

“WSMoV is a biosecurity risk for Australia. Currently, WSMoV is not present in Australia, but is present in India.”

“Tospoviruses infect a broad range of staple and horticultural crops, impacting agriculture in tropical and subtropical areas globally.”

“In the long term, the research will be of great benefit to all stakeholders involved in the production of vegetables, including growers in both countries.”

BRI CEO, Dr Paresh Verma said this unique collaborative effort will help vegetable growers both in Australia and India.

“BRI is excited to develop solutions which will help combat the menace of tospoviruses in vegetables,” Dr Verma said.

Hort Innovation and BRI are also discussing other areas of research in horticulture including the marker-assisted breeding in vegetables.

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