13 Feb 2013

No way to stop vine canker spread - scientist

7:00 am on 13 February 2013

A Plant and Food Research scientist who is studying the kiwifruit vine killing disease PSA says there's little chance of preventing its spread in New Zealand.

Since November 2010 the virulent strain PSA-V has been found on kiwifruit blocks covering 9500 hectares, most of them in Bay of Plenty.

Dr Ian Horner told a PSA symposium in Mount Maunganui there are always going to be potential infection sites for the disease, which means little respite for kiwifruit growers.

The bacteria, Pseudomonas syringae pv actinidiae, was likely to be available all year round from a multitude of sources, including oozing wounds on vines, and would be spread by vectors such as wind and splashes of raindrops.

Dr Horner says more needs to be known about the PSA pathogen so that growers can improve their orchard and spray management.