National Grains Diagnostic and Surveillance Initiative (NGDSI)

Page last updated: Thursday, 28 March 2024 - 3:35pm

The NGDSI is a groundbreaking national initiative with a focus on biosecurity. The DPIRD Crop Protection team is conducting research to help provide the grains industry with fast, accurate diagnostics for key industry personnel, including growers, to enable timely management decisions that reduce the impact of biotic threats on grain crops.  

Start date: 3/03/2023
Finish date: 3/03/2028

The NGDSI is a groundbreaking $42.7 million national initiative with a focus on biosecurity led by the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) in partnership with five state government agencies. However, there is also a significant component allocated to addressing diagnostics, surveillance, early warning and forecasting of established pests and diseases. With the increased threats of chemical resistance evolving in the pests and diseases, the decrease in number of traditional taxonomists and time delays in accessing this expertise, the increasing cost of inputs, and an increase in the number of looming biosecurity threats, this research is not only timely but essential to supporting the grains industry, grower decision-making, and food security for Western Australia.  

Timeliness of detection and response are critical to success when it comes to both exotic incursions and management of endemic threats. For example, early detection of an exotic pest or disease can mean the difference between successful eradication, long-term management costs for growers, or the devastation of a crop or an industry. In the case of established pests, if the pest or disease is detected early and over a limited area it may be easier to severely restrict growth and spread of the infestation and use fewer resources in doing so. 

In addition to detecting pests, rapidly and accurately identifying them is essential for proper biosecurity and management action.  In the past, identifying pests and diseases has required specialists often located some distance from the paddock. There are new techniques and tools which can make diagnostics more accessible and faster. The DPIRD Crop Protection team is conducting research across three of the four NGDSI themes to help provide the grains industry with fast, accurate diagnostics for key industry personnel, including growers, to enable timely management decisions that reduce the impact of biotic threats on grain crops.  

Theme A: Adoption of modern quantitative PCR (qPCR) and HTS platforms as diagnostics standards for the Australian grain industry 

Theme B: In-field or near field diagnostics systems advanced and implemented for near real time identification of biotic threats 

Theme D: Forecasting seasonal occurrence, magnitude and distribution of diseases and pests 

Contact information

Benjamin Congdon
+61 (0)8 9368 3499