Healthy trees, healthy future (HTHF) Dr Nari Williams, Scion
This collaborative programme aims to address the biosecurity threat of Phytophthora pathogens to New Zealand’s agricultural, horticultural and forestry industries, and its natural ecosystems. The HTHF programme is now in its fourth year. With partners Manaaki Whenua, Plant & Food Research, Massey University, and kaurilands mana whenua groups, the programme has been digging deep into the cellular and chemical responses of the pathogen and host tree. This will ultimately provide tools to help build natural resistance to new Phytophthora in all forest and horticultural sectors, and to combat existing diseases such as kauri dieback and red needle cast.
This year the project team screened radiata pine, kauri and apple trees, giving them confi dence that natural plant defence reactions to Phytophthora pathogens can be used to identify individual plants with a degree of resistance.
HTHF acknowledges the support of MBIE, the Forest Growers Levy Trust, and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) kauri dieback programme in funding this research.