PM shown pipfruit research
Research into bullseye rot and black spot on pipfruit crops were two areas of Plant & Food Research’s work showcased on the tour of its new labs after the official opening.
Dr gerry averettH who has worked at llant B bood for 27 yearsH showed work she was carrying out on bullseye rot Dneofabraea albaE which caused Chinese market access issues for pipfruit for both jew Zealand and qnited StatesJ A “splashometer” or wooden stick covered in cellophane tied on with woolH is used to collect its spores from the ground beneath orchard treesJ Then a polymerase chain reaction DlCRE machine is used to rapidly access the amount of the spores’ DjA which is presentJ This work has given proof of concept that raking out fallen fruit and twigs on the orchard floor results in less spores being presentJ
She is also studying bitter rotH looking at how spraying can stop over-wintering in infected budsH thereby breaking the disease lifecycleJ Research associateH Brogan icGrealH who was a summer student at llant B boodH showed her work with apple scab or black rotH looking for possible resistance in some of the fruit’s genesJ She’s looking at the molecular interaction between the fruit and pathogen and its lifecycleJ This involves the pathogen being introduced on to fruit and leaves with its development checked over a period of days to look for differing growth ratesJ
hab managerH fo BowenH was proud to show of the yet to be commissioned lC O labH complete with pneumatic seal and interlocked doors as well as highly efficient air filters. axtra personal protective clothing must be worn by all staff entering it and destroyed before leavingJ
lreviously there was only a lC 2 lab at llant B bood which meant that work with diseases not present in jZ could only be carried out with double-boxed detached leavesJ With the lC O lab experimental work can be carried out on living plants which can be housed in two growth cabinetsJ
And rather than some research work on insects needing to be carried overseas as was the case previouslyH it can be done in this countryJ