Crop loss from pathogens and pests is an increasing threat to agriculturalproduction in Aotearoa New Zealand and abroad. Similarly, our native forests are under threat from current (and future) incursions, often due to migration from adjoining productive systems.
Progress has been made both to control these pathosystems, and to manage productive systems sustainably as their biology/ecology shifts in response to biological incursions. However, we still lack the knowledge and tools to effectively and economically control most existing pathogens and pests, let alone new threats that might be associated with a changing climate.
In Aotearoa New Zealand, we have unique biological, climatological and sociological settings. We therefore need to develop new approaches specific to our socio-ecological setting and our bioprotection needs.
We will take a holistic approach, seeking the mechanisms that will drive pathogen/pest defence, including microbiota-mediated protection and genetic and genomic approaches to pathogen and pest control.