Plant Pathogen ‘Omics Initiative
Plant diseases cost Australia millions of dollars each year as they reduce productivity, increase the cost of production, impact on our ability to trade both locally and internationally and adversely affect our environment and biodiversity.
With average temperatures rising and an intensification in the incidence of severe weather events, experts anticipate increased risks in the extent and severity of pest and disease outbreaks. As such, preparedness and awareness are a national priority, and enabling data-driven decision making is essential to this. Researchers and industry stakeholders across Australia, and internationally, are already integrating ‘omics data into developing resistant varieties, chemical and biological controls, and biosecurity surveillance programs. Yet, their progress is impeded by large gaps in the referential data that is available, particularly over space and time, and existing data can be difficult and time consuming to find and access.
The Bioplatforms-supported Plant Pathogen ‘Omics Initiative will generate high quality molecular reference data for plant pathogens in Australia. This data will be developed through collaboration with the national plant pathogen community and will be used as a foundational data asset to support:
a) fundamental research and development in plant protection (e.g., understanding emergence and evolution of pathogens in crop systems, resolving taxonomy and race structure, informing biocide development, etc.); and
b) an effective national biosecurity surveillance system (e.g., incursion detection, rapid diagnostics tests, etc.)