Strategic framework for New Zealand grapevine trunk disease
Grapevine trunk diseases (GTDs) threaten the longevity of vineyards in New Zealand and internationally. Researchers and wine industry representatives met in Christchurch in November 2016 to develop a strategic plan to enhance the progress of GTD research and improve consistency across studies in New Zealand over the next ten years. Four outcome areas were identified: disease prevention and improved sustainability; improved management decisions; fewer susceptible vines; and improved pathogen management in nurseries and young vines. The group used these outcomes to determine four research focus areas: Disease Etiology/Pathology; Biologicals affecting the host or pathogen; Breeding; and Physiology (including a holistic measure of plant health and biochemistry). The focus areas and outcomes were used to develop a framework that takes into account current research or related activities, any challenges or issues involved, future research required (underpinning and applied), and potential for technology transfer. Attendees also summarised recent research activity and identified current knowledge gaps. Researchers agreed to: enhance sharing of methods and isolates; improve comparisons between experimental results; and increase awareness of the current range of activities and skills employed. Publishing the framework on the MWRC and PFR websites will allow other researchers to access, and comment on, current thinking on this topic.