This project will develop an improved integrated approach for managing endemic strains of grapevine phylloxera.
Grapevine phylloxera is a major endemic biosecurity threat to the viticulture sector in Australia and is ranked in the top 10 pests and diseases for the industry. A phylloxera infestation directly impacts everyday logistics as well as the level of profitability for grape producers. Meeting the regulation compliance costs alone can increase processing costs by a minimum of 20 per cent. In addition, replanting onto phylloxera resistant rootstocks can be up to $50,000 per hectare and results in lost production for 4-5 years. Although historically limited in its distribution, being restricted to quarantine areas in Victoria and NSW, phylloxera has been increasing its geographic range in the last 15 years and poses a major threat to the national viticulture sector, which is still predominantly planting highly susceptible ungrafted European grapevines.
This project will develop an improved integrated approach for managing endemic strains of grapevine phylloxera. This will be achieved by (i) developing improved quarantine protocols, by scientifically validating new and existing disinfestation treatments (ii) enhancing early detection systems, by developing volatile markers for phylloxera and testing e-nose technology (iii) providing region- and genotype-specific rootstock recommendations, (iv) re-evaluating biocontrol options, and (v) addressing key knowledge gaps on the biology of phylloxera endemic strains.
The sector stands to benefit greatly from the effective detection, management and control of the spread of phylloxera, now and into the future.