1 Sep 2017

Survival of soil organisms a wake-up call for bio-security

From Nine To Noon, 9:08 am on 1 September 2017

Tiny creatures in soil that attack plants have shown the ability to survive for at least three years in new research, giving new insights into the bio-security threats posed by passenger travel and trade between countries. The creatures, called nematodes, are very small worm-like organisms - and are estimated to cause billions of dollars of crop damage worldwide each year. They can survive in dried out, seemingly harmless soil attached to a shoe or a freight container coming across the border - and can be extremely hardy and have both beneficial and detrimental impacts. Lynn Freeman speaks with a research scientist at AgResearch, Mark McNeil