Development of a New Zealand database of plant virus and virus-like organisms

J.D. Fletcher, R.A. Lister, G.R.G. Clover, M.B. Horner, J.E. Thomas, R.A.A. van der Vlugt, R.M. MacDiarmid

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    Abstract

    The recent 8th Australasian plant virology workshop in Rotorua, New Zealand, discussed the development of a New Zealand database of plant virus and virus-like organisms. Key points of discussion included: (i) the purpose of such a database; (ii) who would benefit from the information in a database; (iii) the scope of a database and its associated collections; (iv) database information and format; and (v) potential funding of such a database. From the workshop and further research, we conclude that the preservation and verification of specimens within the collections and the development of a New Zealand database of plant virus and virus-like organisms is essential. Such a collection will help to fulfil statutory requirements in NewZealand and assist in fulfilling international obligations under the International Plant Protection Convention. Sustaining such a database will assist New Zealand virologists and statutory bodies to undertake scientifically sound research. Establishing reliable records and an interactive database will help to ensure accurate and timely diagnoses of diseases caused by plant viruses and virus-like organisms. Detection of new incursions and their diagnosis will be further enhanced by the use of such reference collections and their associated database. Connecting and associating this information to similar overseas databases would assist international collaborations and allow access to the latest taxonomic and diagnostic resources. Associated scientists working in the areas of plant breeding, export phytosanitary assurance and in the area of the conservation estate would also benefit from access to verified specimens of plant viruses and virus-like organisms. We conclude that funding of a New Zealand database of virus and virus-like organisms and its associated collections should be based partly on Crown funds, as it is a nationally significant biological resource.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)571-575
    JournalAustralasian Plant Pathology
    Volume38
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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