Sampling strategies for sensitive, accurate and cost effective detections of Phylloxera for quantifying area freedom status

Summary

Objectives

To determine if an adequate sampling protocol can be developed for confident identification of phylloxera in soil using molecular techniques.

Background

At present, surveillance for phylloxera relies on aerial imagery to identify weak vines followed by a process of digging and inspecting vine roots by skilled inspectors. This has several limitations including costs, not all vines with low vigour are phylloxera infested or phylloxera may be present but its effects are not recognised. Further, the National Phylloxera Management Protocol (NPMP) does not have an endorsed maintenance protocol to demonstrate area status for phylloxera.

Research Approach

This project will build on previous research assessing the most appropriate sample location to achieve detection. In addition, research would evaluate the effect of different soil types, seasonal impacts, transport and impact of storage on sample integrity. Once the sampling matrix has been prepared, the protocol would be tested by growers to determine the accuracy and assess the robustness of the protocol.

Industry Benefit

Using a DNA testing technique, the presence of Phylloxera can be detected in soil samples in a cheap and efficient manner. Thisprojectwilldevelopasamplingmethod thatcanbe easily and quickly carriedout in the vineyardtoprovidethemostaccuratesamplefordiagnosticanalysis. It considers seasonal conditions, soil type and will greatly assist in phylloxera status surveillance.