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 Plant Pathogen ‘Omics Initiative is a national program of targeted ‘omics, including genomics, proteomics, metabolomics and phenomics (via collaboration with the NCRIS-enabled Australian Plant Phenomics Facility), which aims to:
- fast-track fundamental research through the creation of a referential ‘omics data resource of key pathogens and their strains and how they vary over time and space;
- consolidate and extend national knowledge and capabilities in plant protection and biosecurity preparedness; and
- bolster a national network for identification and monitoring of plant pathogen populations that effect a broad range of agricultural sectors.