NZ: new product to boost kiwifruit vine disease immunity

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NZ: new product to boost kiwifruit vine disease immunity

Scientists at New Zealand's Plant & Food Research are testing a new product that could boost the immunity of kiwifruit plants to vine disease Psa, broadcaster Radio New Zealand reported.

The country now has 20% of its kiwifruit orchards infected with the disease, with the latest Kiwifruit Vine Health (KVH) statistics showing 689 orchards have been infected with the virulent Psa-V strain.

KVH says 73% of New Zealand's kiwifruit hectares are in a Priority Zone, while 28% of the country's kiwifruit hectares are on an orchard with a Psa-V positive result.

Scientist Tony Reglinski told Radio New Zealand that if successful, an injection product that is now under trial could be used in conjunction with other protective sprays, while also giving the industry more time to develop new resistant varieties.

"With control of most plant disease you’re 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," he told the broadcaster.

"There are some treatments that are coming through that are showing potential to reduce the susceptibility of the plant."

Related stories: NZ: Kiwifruit growers busy developing Psa-resistant vines

NZ kiwifruit spray program under fire

Photo: Nathan Balasingham

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