AU: Phylloxera detection on display in Yarra Valley

Researchers will tour vineyards in the Yarra Valley today to see a new phylloxera detection system in action.

The Board of the Plant Biosecurity Cooperative Research Centre is making the visit as part of a regular program of visits with CRC Participants.

Phylloxera is an aphid-like insect that destroys grapevines by feeding on vine roots.

Phylloxera and Grape Industry Board of South Australia chief executive Alan Nankivell said phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae) was the only regulated pest in the wine industry and a major concern for grape growers.

“Vine removal or replanting on resistant rootstock are the only effective treatments,” Mr Nankivell said. “Fast detection of phylloxera is essential for getting on top of incursions quickly, as well as managing areas free of the pest.”

Mr Nankivell leads a Plant Biosecurity CRC project developing a sensitive, accurate and cost-effective method for the detection of phylloxera using a DNA-based test.

“The technology can be very sensitive and highly accurate,” he said. “What we are now working on is a cost-effective and simple sampling strategy that any grower can use to quickly detect phylloxera in their vines.

“Our aim is to empower growers with the ability to know where phylloxera is, and where it isn’t, so they can manage their vineyard for the best outcomes.”


Publication date: 9/9/2015

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