Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute

Menangle, Australia

Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute

Menangle, Australia

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Mo M.,Australian Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries | Mo M.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
Herpetology Notes | Year: 2015

Little is known about the behaviour of many of Australia’s amphibians. In this paper, I report a series of incidental observations documenting “blitz-feeding” on ants and other arthropods by Ornate Burrowing Frogs (Platyplectrum ornatum) in the Pilliga forests and Bundarra, northern New South Wales, Australia. During these observations, frogs appeared to be strategically positioned on ant trails, crossing paths with 5–15 ants per minute. Frogs appeared to use their bodies to direct incoming ants towards their head. Blitz attacks were rapid, involving a volatile downward burst of the tongue. Similar behaviour has been confirmed in some Australian insectivorous lizards. © 2015, Societas Europaea Herpetologica. All rights reserved.


Whittington R.J.,University of Sydney | Marsh I.B.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Saunders V.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Grant I.R.,Queen's University of Belfast | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2011

Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis causes paratuberculosis (Johne's disease) in ruminants in most countries. Historical data suggest substantial differences in culturability of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis isolates from small ruminants and cattle; however, a systematic comparison of culture media and isolates from different countries and hosts has not been undertaken. Here, 35 field isolates from the United States, Spain, Northern Ireland, and Australia were propagated in Bactec 12B medium and Middlebrook 7H10 agar, genomically characterized, and subcultured to Lowenstein-Jensen (LJ), Herrold's egg yolk (HEY), modified Middlebrook 7H10, Middlebrook 7H11, and Watson-Reid (WR) agars, all with and without mycobactin J and some with sodium pyruvate. Fourteen genotypes of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis were represented as determined by BstEII IS900 and IS1311 restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis. There was no correlation between genotype and overall culturability, although most S strains tended to grow poorly on HEY agar. Pyruvate was inhibitory to some isolates. All strains grew on modified Middlebrook 7H10 agar but more slowly and less prolifically on LJ agar. Mycobactin J was required for growth on all media except 7H11 agar, but growth was improved by the addition of mycobactin J to 7H11 agar. WR agar supported the growth of few isolates. The differences in growth of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis that have historically been reported in diverse settings have been strongly influenced by the type of culture medium used. When an optimal culture medium, such as modified Middlebrook 7H10 agar, is used, very little difference between the growth phenotypes of diverse strains of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was observed. This optimal medium is recommended to remove bias in the isolation and cultivation of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis. Copyright © 2011, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


Jordan D.,Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute | Kirkland P.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Morris S.,Wollongbar Primary Industries Institute | Coilparampil R.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
Preventive Veterinary Medicine | Year: 2012

Results from laboratory assays for detection of animal disease are often assessed for repeatability (agreement within laboratory) and reproducibility (agreement between laboratories). This work aimed to understand the strengths and limitations of available methods for describing these quantities. Five major veterinary laboratories in Australia volunteered to participate in a designed evaluation based on repeat testing of twenty bovine sera. Sampling was stratified so that ten of the sera were negative to the virus neutralisation test (VNT) for antibody to bovine herpes virus 1 (BHV-1) and the remaining ten sera were VNT positive. Each serum was divided into 50 replicates and each laboratory assayed one replicate of each serum on a weekly basis using a commercial ELISA for BHV-1. Laboratories were blinded to the identity of sera. The data on sample to positive control ratio (S/P) for these 1000 individual assays were collated, sources of variance analysed using a random effects model, and reliability coefficients (ρ) obtained from the variance estimates as quantitative measures of within and between laboratory agreement. Coefficient of variation (CV) was calculated for combinations of sera and laboratory. CV was found to be higher for sera with the lowest mean S/P values (VNT -ve sera). For VNT -ve sera, agreement of S/P within laboratory was low to moderate (ρ: 0.01-0.27) and the agreement between all labs was low (ρ= 0.02). Reliability coefficients for VNT +ve sera were very high for agreement within laboratories (ρ: 0.63-0.92) and moderate for agreement between laboratories (ρ= 0.52). As well, simulation demonstrated that sero-prevalence has a dramatic affect on the reliability coefficient if sampling were to be irrespective of VNT status. We conclude that there are some limitations with the available approaches for assessing agreement within and between laboratories. Although reliability coefficients have some drawbacks they are an attractive way of reducing reliance on subjective assessment of agreement. © 2011.


Herron G.A.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Wilson L.J.,CSIRO
Australian Journal of Entomology | Year: 2011

Cotton or melon aphid, Aphis gossypii Glover, is an important pest of cotton, and recently the neonicotinoid group of insecticides has provided a key option for control where they are used as seed treatments and foliar sprays. Here we document for the first time in Australian cotton, resistance to three neonicotinoids (acetamiprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam) in A. gossypii via diagnostic discriminating concentration assays that were also associated with field control failure. Subsequent full log dose probit analysis on strains with discriminating dose survivors confirmed acetamiprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam resistance at 6.4-, 10- and 22-fold, respectively. Further laboratory pressuring of strains caused acetamiprid resistance to significantly increase to 22-fold but resistance factors to clothianidin and thiamethoxam were unchanged. Clearly there is a need to reduce overall neonicotinoid selection to prevent or slow any increase in neonicotinoid resistance. An effective method to contain resistance would be to move away from the more persistent neonicotinoid seed dressings to either organophosphate or carbamate-based products and to limit the use of neonicotinoid foliar sprays. © 2010 Industry & Investment NSW. Journal compilation © 2010 Australian Entomological Society.


Carnegie A.J.,Biosecurity Research | Cooper K.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
Australasian Plant Pathology | Year: 2011

In April 2010, an exotic rust of Myrtaceae was detected in New South Wales, Australia, identified as Uredo rangelii and provided a new common name, 'myrtle rust'. It was declared an Exotic Plant Pest as it was recognised as a taxon within the Puccinia psidii (eucalyptus/guava rust) complex, which is a key biosecurity threat to Australia. This paper describes the emergency response that ensued, including surveillance, tracing, quarantine, destruction and community engagement. A unique aspect of this emergency response was the disjointed stages of action, with the response initially falling under national emergency management procedures (PLANTPLAN) for 1 week (Stage I), then outside the national process and under the state process for a further 2 months (Stage II), before falling again under the national emergency response program (Stage III). Problems associated with the identity of the introduced rust are discussed, and a brief update on the current status of the rust, now established in Australia, is provided, including distribution and impact in the native environment and affected industries. Major outcomes of recent reviews of the emergency response are outlined. © Australasian Plant Pathology Society Inc. 2011.


Neal J.S.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Neal J.S.,University of Sydney | Fulkerson W.J.,University of Sydney | Hacker R.B.,Trangie Agricultural Research Center
Agricultural Water Management | Year: 2011

The increasing cost and scarcity of water for irrigation is placing pressure on Australian dairy farmers to utilize water more efficiently, and as result, water use efficiency (WUE) of forages is becoming an important criterion for sustainable dairy production. This study was conducted to identify more water use efficient forage species than the dominant dairy forage, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Seventeen annual forage species were investigated under optimum irrigation (I1) and two deficit irrigation treatments (nominally 66 and 33% of irrigation water applied to the optimal level), over 3 years at Camden, NSW, on a brown Dermsol in a warm temperate climate. Forages with the highest yield generally had the highest WUEt (total yield/evapotranspiration). Under optimal irrigation, there was a three-fold difference in mean annual WUEt between forages, with maize (Zea mays L.) having the highest (42.9kgha-1mm-1) and cowpea (Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.) the lowest (13.5kgha-1mm-1), with 11 of the forage species having a greater WUEt than perennial ryegrass. The 'harvested' forages maize, wheat, triticale (Triticosecale rimpaui Wittm.) and maple pea (Pisum sativium L.) generally had higher mean WUEt (26.7-42.9kgha-1mm-1) than the remaining forages which were defoliated multiple times to simulate grazing (13.5-30.1kgha-1mm-1). The reduction in annual WUEt in response to deficit irrigation was greatest for the warm season forages with up to 30% reduction for maize, while most of the cool season annuals were not significantly affected by deficit irrigation at the levels imposed. In order to maximize WUEt of any forage, it is necessary to maximize yield, as there is a strong positive relationship between yield and WUEt. However, while WUEt is an important criterion for choosing dairy forages, it is only one factor in a complex system. Choice of forages must be considered on a whole farm basis and include consideration of yield, nutritive value, cost of production and risk. © 2010.


Neal J.S.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Neal J.S.,University of Sydney | Fulkerson W.J.,University of Sydney | Sutton B.G.,University of Sydney
Irrigation Science | Year: 2011

The cost and scarcity of water is placing increasing pressure on Australian dairy farmers to utilise water for forage production as efficiently as possible. This study aimed to identify perennial forage species with greater water-use efficiency (WUE) than the current dominant species, perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.). Fifteen perennial forage species were investigated under optimum irrigation and two deficit irrigation treatments, over three years at Camden, NSW, on a brown Dermsol in a warm temperate climate. Under optimal irrigation, there was a nearly twofold difference in mean WUEt (total yield/evapotranspiration) between forages, with kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum Hochst. ex. chiov.) having the highest (27.3 kg ha-1 mm-1) and birdsfoot trefoil (Lotuscorniculatus L.) the lowest (14.8 kg ha-1 mm-1). Kikuyu was also the most water use efficient forage under the extreme deficit irrigation treatment, although its mean WUEt declined by 15% to 23.2 kg ha-1 mm-1, while white clover (Trifolium repens L.) in the same treatment had the largest decline of 44% and the lowest WUEt of only 8.8 kg ha-1 mm-1. In order to maximise WUE for any forage, it is necessary to maximise yield, as there is a strong positive relationship between yield and WUEt. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.


Mohler V.L.,University of Sydney | Heithoff D.M.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Mahan M.J.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Hornitzky M.A.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | And 2 more authors.
Vaccine | Year: 2012

Intensive livestock production is associated with an increased incidence of salmonellosis. The risk of infection and the subsequent public health concern is attributed to increased pathogen exposure and disease susceptibility due to multiple stressors experienced by livestock from farm to feedlot. Traditional parenteral vaccine methods can further stress susceptible populations and cause carcass damage, adverse reactions, and resultant increased production costs. As a potential means to address these issues, in-water delivery of live attenuated vaccines affords a low cost, low-stress method for immunization of livestock populations that is not associated with the adverse handling stressors and injection reactions associated with parenteral administration. We have previously established that in-water administration of a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium dam vaccine conferred significant protection in livestock. While these experimental trials hold significant promise, the ultimate measure of the vaccine will not be established until it has undergone clinical testing in the field wherein environmental and sanitary conditions are variable. Here we show that in-water administration of a S. Typhimurium dam attenuated vaccine was safe, stable, and well-tolerated in adult sheep. The dam vaccine did not alter water consumption or vaccine dosing; remained viable under a wide range of temperatures (21-37°C); did not proliferate within fecal-contaminated trough water; and was associated with minimal fecal shedding and clinical disease as a consequence of vaccination. The capacity of Salmonella dam attenuated vaccines to be delivered in drinking water to protect livestock from virulent Salmonella challenge offers an effective, economical, stressor-free Salmonella prophylaxis for intensive livestock production systems. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.


Kirkland P.D.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Finlaison D.S.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Crispe E.,Warwick Farm Equine Center | Hurt A.C.,World Health Organization
Emerging Infectious Diseases | Year: 2010

During the 2007 equine influenza outbreak in Australia, respiratory disease in dogs in close contact with infected horses was noted; influenza (H3N8) virus infection was confirmed. Nucleotide sequence of the virus from dogs was identical to that from horses. No evidence of dog-to-dog transmission or virus persistence in dogs was found.


Finlaison D.S.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Read A.J.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute | Kirkland P.D.,Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
Australian Veterinary Journal | Year: 2010

Objective: To report the rapid transmission of bovine ephemeral fever. (BEF) virus from north-western New South Wales south to the Victorian border in January 2008 and to present data that suggests an uncommon meteorological event caused this rapid southward dispersal of vectors. Procedure: The locations of reported clinical cases, data from sentinel herds and results from a survey of cattle in the southern affected area were examined to delineate the distribution of virus transmission. Synoptic weather charts for January 2008 were examined for meteorological conditions that may have favoured movement of vectors in a southerly direction. Results: Cases of BEF and exposure to BEF virus in NSW were confirmed west of the Great Dividing Range, extending from the Queensland border to Finley, on the far North Coast and around the Hunter Valley. A low-pressure system moved south across the state on 18-19 January 2008, preceding the first cases of BEF in the south of NSW by 1-2 days. Conclusion: Heavy rainfall in December 2007 provided a suitable environment for vector breeding, resulting in the initiation of and support for continuing BEF virus transmission in north-western NSW. The movement of a low-pressure system south across central western NSW in mid-January 2008 after the commencement of BEF virus transmission in the north-west of the state provided a vehicle for rapid southward movement of infected vectors. © 2010 Industry & Investment NSW. Journal compilation © 2010 Australian Veterinary Association.

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