19 May, 2023
Themed ‘Implementation through connections’ the hybrid Annual Surveillance and Diagnostics Workshop (ADSW) workshop was held at the QT Hotel in Canberra from 9 – 11 May.
ADSW 2023 Presentations are available for viewing on the PSNAP Portal: ADSW 2023 Presentations - Plant Surveillance Network
“ADSW 2023 aimed to enhance and strengthen Australia’s diagnostic and surveillance capacity and capability to identify priority plant pests that impact on plant industries, environment and the community,” said Dr Lucy Tran-Nguyen, PHA General Manager, Partnerships and Innovation.
The program consisted of presentation sessions, panel discussions, workshops and a field day, which allowed diagnosticians and surveillance practitioners to come together and share knowledge and learnings.
The six sessions included:
The event kicked off with two training workshops. The ‘Multi-locus target sequencing (MLTS) workshop was presented by Dr Pragya Kant, a research pathologist at Agriculture Victoria and Amanda Yong, National Manager, Marketing and Communications at Plant Health Australia (PHA) delivered a ‘Science of communication workshop’.
Some of the other highlights included:
On Day 3, delegates attended a field training activity at the Australian National Botanical Gardens, where they participated in surveillance of Xylella fastidiosa (based on National Diagnostic Protocol Section 9), and diagnostics using loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) assay and Agdia kit for Xylella. (Xylella is not present in Australia or New Zealand and is considered Australia’s number one national priority plant pest.)
“National Diagnostic Protocols (NDP) and National Surveillance Protocols (NSP) are critical as the primary source of information in plant biosecurity diagnostics and surveillance activities. It was exciting to see the draft Xylella NDP be applied in a training exercise at ADSW2023. The surveillance work instruction developed from the NDP Section 9 was used for sampling host species and tested using the assays described in the NDP. As expected, testing showed the samples were free from Xylella” said Dr Tran-Nguyen.
Dr Sharyn Taylor, PHA’s National Manager, Surveillance, concluded the event with a workshop on ‘Surveillance Workshop Towards a Nationally Integrated Surveillance System for Plant Pests’
ADSW2023 was facilitated by PHA and funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) as a part of the ‘National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostics and Surveillance Professional Development and Protocols’ projects. PHA would like to thank the Network Implementation Working Group (NIWG) and the Plant Surveillance Network Working Group (PSNWG) for their support, planning and contributions for the ADSW2023. A special thanks to Agdia and Biosecurity Tasmania for supplying the demo kit for training purposes.