Tuesday, 23 February, 2016 - 10:23

B3 (Border Biosecurity for Plant Pests and Diseases) and Landcare Research (New Tools and Technologies for Invasive Animal Management) have been funded for two years from the MBIE International Relationships Fund to help coordinate priority topics and cross-cutting action items for Invasive Species Research under the NZ-US Joint Commission on Science and Technology Collaboration (or JCM).


Thursday, 3 December, 2015 - 10:31

A new Scion-led MBIE programme, Protecting New Zealand’s primary sector from plant pests: a toolkit for the urban battlefield, has recently been funded.  The programme directly supports export growth targets of New Zealand’s primary production sectors and export growth aspirations of government by addressing three key requirements needed for effective pest eradication (1) early detection through improved surveillance, (2) new eradication methods that can replace broadcast aerial spraying; and, (3) risk communication and engagement strategies....

Tuesday, 1 December, 2015 - 10:12

Nixon, L; Brockerhoff, E.;  Goldson, S; Rostas, M. 2015. Keeping the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug out of New Zealand. Forest Health News. Scion, Rotorua.

Tuesday, 3 November, 2015 - 14:35


Back in August, B3 hosted the inaugural ‘B3 Hui’ alongside representatives of each of the partner organisations. The one-day Hui was held...

Friday, 2 October, 2015 - 09:24

Acknowledgement:  Biological Control 80 (2015) 77- 88

Understanding the potential risks to New Zealand’s invertebrate fauna will allow regulators to better assess new biological control agents before they are released into the New Zealand environment.


Thursday, 1 October, 2015 - 09:12


Kauri leaves sprayed with phosphite, showing visible phytotoxic burn symptoms.


Scientists across ...

Friday, 28 August, 2015 - 15:59

 Photo credit: James Nyland, Australia"


Scientists from Plant & Food Research are working to protect New Zealand borders from future incursions of the Queensland fruit fly (Qfly) and support control of populations in areas of eastern Australia where it is a major pest of horticultural crops.


Monday, 25 May, 2015 - 11:04

A national science collaboration, Better Border Biosecurity (B3), that involves four New Zealand Crown Research Institutes and Lincoln University, will play a small but important part in showcasing the biosecurity expertise of scientists to gardeners of the world.

The world-famous Chelsea Flower Show (May 19-23) is hosting an exhibit called 'Beyond our borders' that highlights how sentinel trees are being used to detect plant pest and disease threats across the world through the International Plant Sentinel Network (IPSN) (www.plantsentinel.org/). The IPSN is co-ordinated by Botanic Gardens Conservations International (BGCI), led by Fera and funded by the UK's Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs through the European Phytosanitary Research Coordination (EUPHRESCO).

Nigel Bell, B3 project leader for the sentinel plants project, and the AgResearch Soil Biology team leader, is the New Zealand co-ordinator for the IPSN. The developing network consists of contributing global organisations whose aim is to provide an early warning system for new and emerging pest and pathogen risks. In New Zealand B3 researchers from AgR, Scion, Plant and Food Research and Landcare Research are...

Tuesday, 19 May, 2015 - 11:45

The brown marmorated bug, which is not established in New Zealand, is of considerable concern (photo courtesy of MPI).

Scientists are working together with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and industry to limit the potential for a new pest to establish in New Zealand – the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB).

An Asian native, the stink bug – so called due to the unpleasant odour emitted when disturbed or crushed - has caused wide-spread issues in the US since it was first detected in 1998. New Zealand researchers, as part of the Better Border Biosecurity (B3) collaboration, are investigating the potential for the pest to establish in New Zealand and to assist with developing tools to protect our horticultural and cropping sectors from the risk.

BMSB attacks a broad range of plants, including fruit trees, ornamentals and field crops, damaging both plants and fruit. Potential impacts on our unique natural systems are unknown. In the US, numerous fruit growers have reported loss of more than 50% of their crops. In addition, the BMSB invades homes during the cooler months, with some people finding more than 12,000 BMSB in their houses over the winter.

Dr Barney...

Thursday, 5 March, 2015 - 15:04

Aotearoa New Zealand constantly faces threats from overseas to our economy, ecosystems and way of life. Myrtle rust (Puccinia psidii) is a fungal plant pathogen native to Brazil that has been spreading internationally and which has caused significant damage to Myrtaceous plants in the countries in which it is present. Its arrival in New Zealand is likely to be imminent given it has now been present in Australia and New Caledonia for several years and has caused damage to a range of significant susceptible hosts.

Plant & Food Research summer student Hone Ropata is researching the potential impacts of the pathogen for Māori, funded through the Better Border Biosecurity collaboration, so that New Zealand can be better prepared for its potential arrival.

"Because the fungus can be blown very long distances by the wind it may well cross the Tasman Sea at some point, or it might hitch a ride on a visitor’s clothing or outdoor equipment – or it could even already be here," says Hone.

Myrtle rust damages members of the Myrtle family and can even kill trees of highly susceptible species. "Plant growth is inhibited by the fungal growth on leaves reducing the ability...

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