Nambour, Australia
Nambour, Australia
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Tixier M.-S.,Montpellier SupAgro | Otto J.,DAFF | Kreiter S.,Montpellier SupAgro | Dos Santos V.,Montpellier SupAgro | Beard J.,University of Maryland University College
Experimental and Applied Acarology | Year: 2014

Species of the family Phytoseiidae are known as predatory mites, some of them being used in crops to control mite pests, all around the world. Neoseiulus (=Cydnodromus) californicus is among the most commonly used Phytoseiidae species in biological control programs, especially in vineyards, orchards and vegetable fields. This species is distributed world-wide but has never been reported from Australia. On the other hand, specimens morphologically close to N. californicus have been assigned to a species called Neoseiulus wearnei, only reported from Australia. Investigations based on morphological and molecular comparisons were carried out to investigate whether these two taxa are conspecific. Morphological analyses showed no significant difference between specimens identified as N. wearnei and N. californicus. Similarly, genetic distances between these taxa were null, showing that all these specimens belong to the same species. Although it is not yet possible to conclude that all the specimens identified as N. wearnei are N. californicus, we can conclude that N. californicus is present in Australia. The information about the biology of N. californicus can thus now be applied to the Australian population of this species for biological control purposes. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Smith M.K.,Maroochy Research Station | Langdon P.W.,Maroochy Research Station | Pegg K.G.,DAFF | Daniells J.W.,South Johnstone Research Station
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2014

Six tetraploid hybrids from Fundación Hondureña de Investigación Agrícola (FHIA) were evaluated in Australia over a five year period. They included three AAAA hybrids (FHIA-02, FHIA-17 and FHIA-23) and three AAAB hybrids (FHIA-01, FHIA-18 and SH-3640.10) and they were compared with industry standards, 'Williams' (AAA, Cavendish subgroup) and 'Lady Finger' (AAB, Pome subgroup). They were screened for their resistance to Fusarium wilt race 1 and subtropical race 4 caused by the pathogen Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense and they were also grown for several cycles on farms not infested with Fusarium wilt to record their agronomic characteristics. The AAAB hybrids, all derived from female parent 'Prata Anã' (AAB, Pome subgroup) were the most resistant to both races of Fusarium wilt and were very productive in the subtropics. They were significantly more productive than 'Lady Finger', which was susceptible to both races of Fusarium wilt. The AAAA hybrids, with the exception of FHIA-02 which was very susceptible to Fusarium wilt and displayed the poorest agronomic traits of the six hybrids, produced bunch weights as good as Cavendish but were significantly slower to cycle. FHIA-17 and FHIA-23, both derived from the female parent 'Highgate' (AAA, Gros Michel subgroup), were also significantly more resistant to Fusarium wilt than 'Gros Michel', while FHIA-17 demonstrated a level of resistance similar to 'Williams' and FHIA-23 was intermediate between 'Lady Finger' and 'Williams'. © 2014.

Ikram E.H.,University of Queensland | Ikram E.H.,University Technology of MARA | Netzel M.E.,University of Queensland | Fanning K.,DAFF | Stanley R.,University of Tasmania
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

The phytochemical composition of the edible fruit and leaf parts of Australian papaya cultivars and the impact of maturity on these functional compounds was investigated. The pulp, peels and leaves of commercially grown Australian papaya cultivars (red and yellow) at 4 different stages of maturity (immature to fully ripened) were analysed for phytochemical content (carotenoids, ascorbic acid and polyphenols by HPLC) and antioxidant capacity (total phenolic content (TPC) and ORAC)). Carotenoid levels in the pulp ranged from 0.28-0.99 mg β-carotene, 0.18-0.42 mg β- cryptoxanthin and 0-1.06 mg lycopene 100 g-1 fresh weight (FW), respectively. Ascorbic acid (AA), TPC and ORAC were up to 61.2 mg 100 g-1 FW, 3.6 mg gallic acid equivalents 100 g-1 FW and 50.9 μM Trolox equivalents g-1 FW, respectively. Midmature and/or fully ripe fruits exhibited the highest ORAC activity as well as AA and carotenoid content. Overall, the highest antioxidant capacity was found in leaves (young and mature) followed by peels and pulp. Polyphenols such as quercetin, gallic acid, kaempherol, chlorogenic acid and coumarin compounds were identified in papaya leaves. These data will assist in assessing the nutritional value of Australian papaya cultivars as well as evaluating the potential benefit of papaya fruit and leaf consumption.

Menzel C.M.,DAFF | Smith L.,DAFF
New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science | Year: 2014

Experiments were conducted over 5 years to understand the seasonal phenology of bare-rooted Festival strawberry plants (Fragaria ×ananassa) growing at Nambour in southeastern Queensland, Australia. Yields ranged from 661 to 966 g/plant, and average seasonal fruit fresh weight ranged from 15 to 18 g. The growth of the leaves, crowns, roots, flowers and fruit over time followed a linear or sigmoid pattern. Maximum values of leaf, crown and root dry weight towards the end of the growing season about 190 days after planting were 30, 15 and 7 g/plant, respectively. The rates of leaf and crown growth were lower than those achieved in California under a Mediterranean climate. There were strong relationships between the allocation of dry matter to the leaves, crowns and roots and plant dry weight. Allocation to the leaves, and especially to the crowns and roots, declined as the plants grew. The number of fruit/plant increased initially over time with a decline later in the season. Average fruit fresh weight was generally higher early in the season and then declined as fruit production increased. There were strong relationships between the growth of the whole plant and the growth of the flowers and immature fruit, and leaf expansion, across the growing season and across the 5 different years. These results indicate that seasonal growth and potential productivity were strongly linked to the expansion of the leaves in this environment. © 2013 The Royal Society of New Zealand.

Ammonia volatilisation from manure materials within poultry sheds can adversely affect production, and also represents a loss of fertiliser value from the spent litter. This study sought to compare the ability of alum and bentonite to decrease volatilisation losses of ammonia from spent poultry litter. An in-vessel volatilisation trial with air flushing, ammonia collection, and ammonia analysis was conducted over 64 days to evaluate the mitigation potential of these two materials. Water-saturated spent litter was incubated at 25°C in untreated condition (control) or with three treatments: an industry-accepted rate of alum [4% Al2(SO4)3·18H2O by dry mass of litter dry mass; ALUM], air-dry bentonite (127% by dry mass; BENT), or water-saturated bentonite (once again at 127% by dry mass; SATBENT). A high proportion of the nitrogen contained in the untreated spent litter was volatilised (62%). Bentonite additions were superior to alum additions at retaining spent litter ammonia (nitrogen losses: 15%, SATBENT; 34%, BENT; 54%, ALUM). Where production considerations favour comparable high rates of bentonite addition (e.g. where the litter is to be re-formulated as a fertiliser), this clay has potential to decrease ammonia volatilisation either in-shed or in spent litter stockpiles or formulated products, without the associated detrimental effect of alum on phosphorus availability. © CSIRO 2013.

Ko L.,Maroochy Research Facility | Eccleston K.,Maroochy Research Facility | O'Hare T.,University of Queensland | Wong L.,University of Queensland | And 2 more authors.
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2013

A comparative analysis of transgenic pineapple lines transformed with a polyphenol oxidase (PPO) gene (ppo) and the untransformed cultivar 'Smooth Cayenne' was made from plants grown in a series of field trials under cool subtropical conditions in southeast Queensland. In the four field trials where blackheart was recorded, all of the control lines expressed blackheart on each occasion and exhibited the greatest incidence (50%) and severity (34%) of symptoms. Irrespective of the gene transfer method or the gene construct used, 38% of the lines produced were regarded as blackheart resistant, having no blackheart symptoms in two or more trials. Five blackheart resistant transgenic lines consistently performed as well as or better than control plants in terms of fruit characteristics and quality. © 2013.

Sallam N.,BSES Ltd | Braithwaite K.,BSES Ltd | Tree D.,DAFF
35th Annual Conference of the Australian Society of Sugar Cane Technologists 2013, ASSCT 2013 | Year: 2013

ON 4 JUNE 2012, Oriental rice thrips, Stenchaetothrips biformis (Bagnall), was detected damaging sugarcane seedlings on the BSES Experiment Station at Meringa, Mulgrave region, Queensland. It has since been detected on young cane plants on two other farms in the Mulgrave area. The pest was first suspected to be Oriental sugarcane thrips (Fulmekiola serrata (Kobus)), an exotic pest species. This triggered an Emergency Response course of action with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Queensland (DAFF) being notified immediately and all cane movement out of Meringa station being halted. Specimens were sent to the Queensland Primary Industries Insect Collection (QDPC), and an accurate identification was made within 48 hours from initial detection. This resulted in the Emergency Response action being terminated as S. biformis is already established in Australia. DNA barcoding was conducted on specimens of S. biformis, as well as specimens of F. serrata that were sourced from colleagues in Reunion and South Africa for future reference. Reasons for what seems to be an expansion of the host range by S. biformis in Australia are unknown, but this incidence highlighted the industry's preparedness to deal with a sudden pest or disease incursion. It also provides the first record of S. biformis attacking sugarcane in Australia. The impact of S. biformis on sugarcane in Australia and its ultimate geographical distribution in canegrowing regions are yet to be determined.

O'Hare T.J.,University of Queensland | McGrath D.J.,DAFF | Dillon N.L.,DAFF | Walker I.O.,DAFF
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

High-lycopene tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum) are characterised by an intense red flesh-colour, due to an elevated concentration of the carotenoid, lycopene. However, this characteristic is only visible once fruit are cut open, making it impossible to differentiate intact high-lycopene fruit from standard tomato fruit, a clear market disadvantage. The reason that fruit colour of both high-lycopene and standard fruit looks almost identical from the outside is because tomato fruit normally contain the yellow flavonoid 'naringenin chalcone' in a thin layer of epidermal cells. It is this combination of naringenin chalcone and the underlying lycopene in the flesh that gives tomatoes their characteristic orange-red colour. By incorporation of the recessive colourless epidermis mutant allele 'y' (which prevents naringenin chalcone accumulation) into high-lycopene fruit, we have been able to create high-lycopene tomatoes (hp1.ogc.y) exhibiting a deep-pink colour visible from the outside. Hue angle of the skin of the high-lycopene 'y' mutant and a regular highlycopene tomato (hp1.ogc.Y) was 30 and 38°, respectively, while flesh values were similar at 31 and 32°, respectively. Removal of naringenin chalcone from the epidermis appeared to improve the visibility of underlying lycopene, such that fruit outer colour became a subsequent indicator of underlying flesh colour. The removal of epidermal pigmentation means that high-lycopene fruit can now be differentiated from standard tomato fruit in the market place without the need to cut fruit open.

Missenden B.P.,DAFF | Senior L.,DAFF | Bilney K.,DAFF | Wright C.,DAFF
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2015

Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni) is a significant quarantine pest of stonefruit. To access domestic markets within Australia stonefruit require treatment to ensure they are free of fruit flies. Due to the recent restriction of the organophosphate pesticides, fenthion and dimethoate, the stonefruit industry now faces a significant challenge to control fruit flies. In this field trial we quantified the level of control achieved by a 'best case' systems approach that relied on currently available and registered control measures. This system included protein bait sprays, Male Annihilation Technique, insecticide cover sprays of trichlorfon, maldison and spinetoram and inspection and culling of damaged fruit. We found that in two out of the three trial orchards, packed fruit samples from Gatton (QLD) and Bangalow (NSW) had low levels of fruit fly infestation; 1.47 and 2.97% respectively. However, at the third property located at Alstonville (NSW) a high level of infestation (51.63%) was found in packed nectarines, which was likely attributed to the late implementation of the systems approach. This trial has demonstrated the potential for fruit fly control without relying on fenthion, however further modification of the system is needed to refine and increase efficacy.

News Article | February 5, 2016
Site: www.scientificamerican.com

The illegal trade in South African abalone (known locally as perlemoen, Haliotis midae) has soared in recent years. According to data presented this week at a fisheries conference, poachers now steal 7 million abalones a year, up from 4 million in 2008. The giant sea snails, which can reach 20 centimeters in width, are mostly trafficked to Asia where they are valued as a delicacy and as a purported aphrodisiac. South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) puts the value of this illegal trade at close to $440 million a year. The country reinstated its limited legal abalone fishing industry a few years ago, but government figures peg the illegal trade at ten times the size of the legal market. Abalone poachers tend to be local fishers, but smuggling has ties into international syndicates trafficking in multiple species. Earlier this month two men were arrested in Namibia with a kilogram of rhino horn pieces and 100 kilograms of dried abalone. The abalone was valued at more than 2.5 times the value of the rhino horn. As with most trafficked species, volume matters. Another abalone shipment intercepted by police last month weighed nearly half a ton. South Africa plans to hold a two-day workshop on perlemoen fishing in three months to discuss regulations and attempts to address the poaching problem. DAFF, meanwhile, has called for abalone poaching to receive the same level of attention and prosecution as rhino poaching. Currently the crime carries a punishment of just a small fine—something easily paid by poachers and smugglers flush with pearly cash.

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