The role of plant biosecurity in preventing and controlling emerging plant virus disease epidemics Academic Article uri icon


  • A number of research strategies have been initiated over the last decade to enhance plant biosecurity capacity at the pre-border, border and post-border frontiers. In preparation for emerging plant virus epidemics, diagnostic manuals for economically important plant viruses that threaten local industries have been developed and validated under local conditions. Contingency plans have also been prepared that provide guidelines to stakeholders on diagnostics, surveillance, survey strategies, epidemiology and pest risk analysis. Reference collections containing validated positive virus controls have been expanded to support a wide range of biosecurity sciences. Research has been conducted to introduce high throughput diagnostic capabilities and the design and development of advanced molecular techniques to detect virus genera. These diagnostic tools can be used by post entry quarantine agencies to detect known and unknown plant viral agents. Pre-emptive breeding strategies have also been initiated to protect plant industries if and when key exotic viruses become established in localized areas. With the emergence of free trade agreements between trading partners there is a requirement for quality assurance measures for pathogens, including viruses, which may occur in both the exporting and importing countries. These measures are required to ensure market access for the exporting country and also to minimize the risk of the establishment of a damaging virus epidemic in the importing country.

publication date

  • May 2009