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Shoulder Workshops and Field Learning Activity at ADSW 2023

Workshop 1: Multi Locus Target Sequencing (MLTS) and Nanopore Demonstration 

Facilitator: Dr Pragya Kant - Agriculture Victoria

Date: 9th May 2023: 8:30 – 10:30 A.M (AEDT)

Venue: Studio 2 at QT Hotel, 1 London Circuit Canberra


Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) is not present in Australia and New Zealand and is considered Australia’s number one National priority plant pest.  Xf strains have caused significant diseases in vast range of plant species overseas.  Strains of Xf have been classified into subspecies and sequence types (ST) that differ in pathogenicity. They can behave like a different disease in different hosts. As a result, successful management of Xf incursion is dependent on accurate determination of Xf subspecies and ST involved in infected plants.

Multi locus sequence typing (MLST) determines Sequence Types (ST) of a bacterium, Xylella fastidiosa. MLST utilises sequencing and analysis of the seven housekeeping genes cysG 600 bp, holC 379 bp, gltT 654 bp, leuA 708 bp, malF  730 bp, nuoL 557 bp, petC  533 bp. The sequence variance in each gene represents an allele number and combination of alleles for seven genes determines ST. Determination of ST is adopted internationally and the database is available publicly for important bacteria at PubMLST website .

A method to determine ST using Nanopore MinION sequencer have been developed and it has added to the updated National Diagnostic protocol for Xylella fastidiosa.  We are planning to provide a demonstration on determination of sequence typing using MinION.

What to expect:  Understanding of MLST, its importance to be included in NDP and to follow the assay.

Lecture style

  • Explanation of the MLST- how it works-
  • Preparation of the samples for sequencing- will discuss the PCR, conditions, and generation of amplicons
  • Sequencing workflow starting from the amplicons DNA quantification, making libraries.
  • Introduction of the Nanopore sequencing, Nanopore community website, the device Minion and MinKNOW a software to run sequencing.
  • Data analysis- step wise instructions to use linux based software.


  • MLST workshop spaces limited space for participants capped at 20 people.
  • Registration required.


Workshop 2: Science Communication for Surveillance and Diagnostics 

Facilitator: Amanda Yong - Plant Health Australia

Date: 9th May 2023: 8:30 – 10:30 A.M (AEDT)

Venue: Studio 3 at QT Hotel, 1 London Circuit Canberra


As an initiative under our National Plant Biosecurity Diagnostics and Surveillance Professional Development Activities, Plant Health Australia (PHA) will deliver a Communication workshop for Surveillance and Diagnostics practitioners at the Annual Diagnostics and Surveillance Workshop 2023.

A Communications workshop has been identified as a training need under the Professional Framework 2022/2023 by both Surveillance and Diagnostics national working committees.

Training areas include:

  • Effective use of communication tools (Media, Digital, Online) in Plant Biosecurity Awareness and Engagement.
  • Tailoring communication to suit difference target audience and as a tool to create visibility, and trust (bridge the gap) in Plant Biosecurity activities.
  • National process and information flow in incursions and their touchpoints.


  • Registration for workshop is required.
  • Training capped at 25 participants.
  • In person mode of delivery only.


Workshop 3: Surveillance Workshop Towards a Nationally Integrated Surveillance System for Plant Pests

Facilitator: Dr Sharyn Taylor - Plant Health Australia

Date: 11th May 2023: 1:30 – 4:30 P.M (AEDT)

Venue: Studio 3 at QT Hotel, 1 London Circuit Canberra


There has always been pressure on our ability to resource and deliver biosecurity outcomes, but now more than ever, our system is facing significant challenges. One of these challenges is how to deliver effective and efficient surveillance that provides value and benefits to meet purposes including early (or timely) detection, delimiting new pest incursions and assessment of pest status for market access. To address these aims, we need to recognise that surveillance is more than the act of looking for pests and must be seen as part of an integrated system that includes diagnostics, data capture and analysis, assessment of new tools and techniques, communication and engagement, horizon scanning, building capacity and capability and governance.

This workshop is part of a project to investigate a Nationally Integrated Surveillance System for Plant Pests (NISSPP), funded by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry to bring stakeholders together to identify implementation mechanisms to improve the delivery and resourcing of surveillance into the future.

This is one of two workshops that will seek further feedback on outcomes of initial consultation undertaken between Plant Health Australia industry and government members on the needs, priorities and challenges of an integrated surveillance system, before moving on to focus on how we can address resourcing, delivery and continual improvement.


  • This 3.5-hour workshop will be held from 9:00 - 12:30 as a face to face meeting with no provision for virtual attendance.
  • Places will be limited so register early.


Field Training Exercise at ADSW 2023 

Date: Thursday 11th May 2023: 9:00 -12:30 P.M (AEDT)

Venue: Botanical Gardens, Canberra


Xylella fastidiosa (Xf) is not present in Australia and New Zealand and is considered Australia’s number one National priority plant pest.

A project has been undertaken to update National Diagnostic protocol (NDP) for Xylella spp. by collaboration of major diagnostics laboratories of Australia and New Zealand. This project is funded by Horticulture Innovation. The updated NDP has been submitted to SPHD for the review.

A training exercise on Xylella NDP (based on Section 9) will be conducted at Botanical Gardens in Canberra on Thursday 11 May 2023 from 9:00 -12:30P.M (AEDT)

Benefits of this exercise include workshop participants learning to use National Diagnostic Protocols and National Surveillance Protocols as a primary source of information in Plant Biosecurity Diagnostics and Surveillance activities.


  • Field exercise has limited space for participants capped at 30 people.
  • Registration required.