Guava root knot nematode update
Guava root knot nematode (Meloidogyne enterolobii; GRKN) has been detected in the Northern Territory and Queensland.
GRKN has not previously been recorded in Australia and is listed as the number 1 threat to the sweetpotato industry due to its persistence and impact on crop production. GRKN is a highly pathogenic and aggressive invasive species that affects many plants including sweetpotatoes, vegetables, onions and other crops.
In severe attacks, GRKN causes extremely large and numerous growths on the roots of infected plants, which can make plants more susceptible to other diseases. Above-ground symptoms include stunted growth, wilting, leaf yellowing and deformation of plant organs. GRKN causes an overall reduction in crop yield.
To reduce the risk of GRKN from entering your farm or property, growers are being urged to practice good farm biosecurity practices which include:
- Visibly inspecting plant material arriving on your property to ensure it is healthy and is free of pest and disease symptoms.
- Sourcing clean planting material from reputable suppliers.
- Purchasing healthy seedlings from reputable nurseries.
- Keeping records of where plants/planting material are sourced from, and where and when they are planted on your property.
If you suspect your property may be affected, phone the Exotic Plant Pest Hotline on 1800 084 881. This will put you in touch with your state or territory’s biosecurity agency.