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De-risking the tissue culture import pathway (New in 2023)

Cultivating new plant varieties from tissue culture has driven innovation, diversification and resilience in Aotearoa’s agriculture and forestry industries.


Plant material entering New Zealand, including tissue culture, must be quarantined and tested for the presence of pests or diseases before being released for use.


There is an opportunity to grow and strengthen this import pathway so primary industries and consumers have more rapid access to a larger number and wider range of plants.


This three-year project will use latest and existing technology to examine different tissues of blueberry, hops, radiata pine and mānuka being used to initiate tissue culture and how microbial communities persist or diminish during their growth. This will provide a better understanding of the presence, and risk, of microorganisms passing into tissue culture, including on non-symptomatic plants.


The project will ultimately improve understanding of the risk posed by microorganisms in tissue culture at the border and lead to better processes to identify them.


This research follows on from a one-year scoping project.


Contact Project Co Leader Hayley Ridgway: [email protected]

Contact Project Co Leader Simon Bulman: [email protected]