Australia is relatively free from many of the plant pathogens that seriously impact on agricultural production and natural environment in other countries. This provides a valuable competitive advantage for Australia’s plant industries in terms of securing market access and maintaining lower production costs. The increasing growth in global trade, travel and tourism is exposing Australia’s plant industries and environment to ever-increasing risk of exotic microbial pathogens. At risk are approximately $14 billion per annum in crop exports, the environment and its associated tourism, the sustainability of regional communities with plant industries contributing approximately $25 billion annually, and indirectly animal and human health and safety. In addition, biosecurity threats are recognised as a serious risk to global food security.
The tale of a tiny worm, the bacteria that live inside her, and a tree being munched on by a grub.