Research highlight: Tackling kauri dieback

Selected native plant extracts may be able to attract and kill the spores of Phytophthora agathidicida – the pathogen causing kauri dieback, according to researchers.

Victoria University of Wellington researcher Dr Monica Gerth is leading a BioHeritage Challenge project that aims to find disease-fighting science solutions by combining a biochemical approach with Mātauranga Māori (Māori knowledge).

Early results indicate that selected native plants show signs of attracting the spores. More research is needed, but the hope is that native plants may provide long-term solutions to the kauri dieback epidemic.