Biotech Updates

Scientists Develop New Product to Boost Kiwifruit Vine Disease Immunity

November 18, 2011

Researchers at Plant and Food Research in New Zealand are now testing a new product that could improve the immunity of kiwifruit plants to vine disease (Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae). About 20 percent of the orchards in New Zealand are now infected by the disease. According to the Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) statistics, 698 orchards are already infected with the virulent strain of the disease.

Tony Reglinski, one of the scientists, said that an injection production is now under trial which will be used together with other protective sprays, while researchers are still developing new resistant varieties.

"With control of most plant disease your long term goal is to come up with a more resistant breed, however that's a longer term strategy so what we're really trying to develop here is a management strategy that can be applied to deal with varieties that are currently in the ground, so that we can slowdown the disease progress and give the breeders time to come through with the next breed," said Reglinski. "There are some treatments that are coming through that are showing potential to reduce the susceptibility of the plant," he added.

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