Plant Health and Environment Laboratory publications and newsletters

As well as testing for pests and diseases, the Plant Health and Environment Laboratory researches pest and disease diagnosis and surveillance. Browse lists of our testing manuals and scientific publications, and find editions of our regular newsletters.

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Bennett, S., Flynn, A. (2018). Clarifying the pest status of some exotic termite species for New Zealand. Surveillance 45(2): 30-32.

Li, D., Waite, D.W., Fan, Q-H., George, S., Semeraro L., Blacket M.J., (2018). Molecular detection of small hive beetle aethina tumida murray (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae): DNA barcoding and development of a real-time PCR assay. Scientific reports 8: 9623.

Li, D., Waite, D.W., Gunawardana, D.N., McCarthy, B., Anderson, D., Flynn, A., George, S. (2018). DNA barcoding and real-time PCR detection of Bactrocera xanthodes (Tephritidae: Diptera) complex. Bulletin of Entomological Research 1-9.

Loreti, S., Cunty, A., Pucci, N., Chabirand, A., Stefani, E., Abelleira, A., Balestra, G.M., Gaffuri, F.R., Gottsberger, R., Holeva, M., Karahan, A., Taylor, R., Vanneste, J., Cruz, L., Lopez, M.M., Poliakoff, F. (2018). Performance of diagnostic tests for the detection and identification of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae (Psa) from woody samples . European Journal of Plant Pathology. 1-20.

Murugan, S., Kumarasinghe, L. (2018). An operational risk assessment framework for a plant health diagnostic laboratory . Bulletin OEPP/EPPO Bulletin 0 (0), 1–9.

Toome-Heller M, Baskarathevan J, Burnip G, Alexander B. J. R. (2018). First report of apple leaf blotch caused by Alternaria arborescens complex in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Crop and Horticultural Science. Doi: 10.1080/01140671.2018.1427117.

Veerakone, S., Liefting, L. W., Tang, J., Ward, L. I. (2018). The complete nucleotide sequence and genome organisation of a novel Betaflexiviridae from Actinidia chinensis . Archives of Virology, 163(5): 1367-1370.

Veerakone, S., Tang, J., Zheng, A., Ward, L. I. (2018). First report of turnip yellows virus in Daphne odora in New Zealand . Plant Disease 102 (7): 1467.

Veerakone, S., Tang, J., Zheng, A., Ward L.I (2018). First report of clover yellow mosaic virus in PEQ Tulipa gesneriana plants imported from USA. Plant Disease 102 (2): 464.

Visnovsky, S. B., Lu, A., Panda, P., Taylor, R. K., Pitman, A.R. (2018). Draft genome sequences of 14 strains of Pseudomonas isolated from Prunus plants. Genome Announcements 6 (3): e01481-17.


Anuradha, S., Gunawardana, D. N., Li. D., Kumarasinghe, L. (2017). Multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of 3 invasive leafminer species: Liriomyza huidobrensis, L. sativae and L. trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae). Austral Entomology 56: 153-159. doi: 10.1111/aen.12237

Crous, P.W., Thangavel, Toome-Heller et al. 2017. Fungal Planet description sheets: 558–642. Persoonia 38: 240-384.

Gunawardana, D.N., Li,D., Masumoto, M., Mound, L.M., O'Donell, C.A., Skarlinsky, T. L. (2017). Resolving the confused identity of Frankliniella panamensis (Thysanoptera: Thripidae). Zootaxa 4323 (1) 125-131.

Hodge, S., Ward, D. F., Merfield, C. N., Liu, W. Y. Y., Gunawardana, D. (2017). Seasonal patterns of drosophilid flies and parasitoid wasps attracted to rotting fruit and vegetable baits in Canterbury, New Zealand. New Zealand Entomologist 40: 7-15.

Johnston, P. R., Park, D., Ho, W. W. H., Alexander, B. J. R. (2017). Genetic validation of historical plant pathology records – a case study based on the fungal genus Phoma from the ICMP culture collection. Plant Pathology DOI: 10.1111/ppa.12728.

Li, D. McCarthy, B.  Anderson, D. Gunawardana, N.D.  Thomas, A. Flynn A., George, S. (2017). The application of DNA barcoding for the identification of invertebrates in New Zealand. Genome 60 (11): 962.

Li, D., Xu, Y. M., Zhao, Z. Q. (2017). First report of Zeatylenchus pittosporum on Pittosporum crassifolium. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 12: 1-4.

Martin, N. & Marinov, M., (2017). Scale insects on Freycinettia: Variability in the appearance of some Diaspididae. The Weta 51: 58-67.

Mound, L.M., Gunawardana, D.N., Li, D. (2017). A new species of Stenchaetothrips (Thysanoptera: Thripidae) from bamboo, based on morphological and molecular data. Zootaxa 4323 (2): 295 -300.

Ray, J. D., Taylor, R. K., Griffin, R. L., James, R. S., Dale, C., Ximines, A., Jones, L. M. (2017). Confirmation of Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri causing citrus canker in Timor Leste. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 12: 44.

Tang, J., Khan, S., Quinn, B., Veerakone, S., Milleza, E., Ward L.I. (2017). First report of Spiranthes mosaic virus 3 in Phlox spp. in New Zealand. Plant Disease DOI: 10.1094/PDIS-11-16-1681-PDN

Taylor, R. K., Griffin, R., Jones, L. M., Rossel, J. B., Tsatsia, H., Davis, R. I. (2017). First record of cassava blight, caused by Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. manihotis in the Solomon Islands. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 12: 49.

Xu, Y. M., Li, D., Ho, W. H., Alexander, B. J. R., Zhao, Z. Q., (2017). First report of Litylenchus coprosma on Coprosma robusta. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 12: 17.

Visnovsky, S. B., Panda, P., Taylor, R. K., Pitman, A. R. (2017). Draft genome sequences of 2 Pectobacterium carotovorum subsp. actinidiae strains ICMP 19971 and ICMP 19972 isolated from kiwifruit plants in South Korea. Genome Announcements 5: e00104-17.

Zhao, Z.Q., Ho, W., Griffin, R.L., Surrey, M.R., Taylor, R.K., Aalders, L.T., Bell, N.L., Xu, Y.M., Alexander, B.J.R. (2017). First record of the root knot nematode, Meloidogyne minor in New Zealand with description, sequencing information and key to known species of Meloidogyne in New Zealand. Zootaxa 4231: 203–218.


Baskarathevan, J., Taylor, R.K., Ho, W., McDougal, R.L., Shivas, R.G., Alexander, B.J.R. (2016). Real-time PCR assays for the detection of Puccinia psidii. Plant Disease 100: 617-624.

Behan-Pelletier, V.M., Li, D.M., & Fan, Q.-H. (2016). Phylogenetic relationships of Paralamellobates: Immature characters of P. misella (Berlese) place the genus in Punctoribatidae (Acari, Oribatida). Acarologia 56: 141–165.

Bellgard , S.E., Pennycook , S.R., Weir , B.S., Ho, W., Waipara , N.W. (2016). Species profile of Phytophthora agathidicida. Forest Phytophthoras of the World   

Bellgard, S.E., Pennycook, S.R., Weir, B.S., Ho, W., Waipara, N.W. (2016). Phytophthora agathidicida. Forest Phytophthoras DOI: 10.5399/osu/fp.5.1.3748.

Crous PW , Thangavel R et al. (2016). Fungal Planet description sheets: 467-559.  Persoonia 37: 218-403.

Delmiglio, C., Fan, Q.-H., George, S., Ward, L., Budge, G., Flynn, A., Kumarasinghe, L. (2016). Development and evaluation of a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Acarapis woodi (tracheal mites) in Apis mellifera. Apidologie 47: 691-702.

Dhami, M.K., Dsouza, M., Waite, D.W., Anderson, D., Li, D. (2016). Real-time PCR assay for the identification of the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys). Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences 3: 5.

Fan, Q.-H., Zhang, Z.-Q., Brown , R.L., France , S., Bennett , S. (2016). New Zealand Pneumolaelaps Berlese (Acari: Laelapidae): description of a new species, key to species and notes on biology . Systematic and Applied Acarology 21: 119–138.

Fan, Q.-H., Flechtmann, C.H.W., Moraes, G.J. de (2016). Annotated catalogue of Stigmaeidae (Acari: Prostigmata), with a pictorial key to genera. Zootaxa 4176: 1-199.

Fan, Q.-H. & Ueckermann, E.A. (2016). Resurrection of the genus Nonocaligus Habeeb with redefinition of Nonocaligus and Mullederia Wood (Acari: Stigmaeidae). Systematic and Applied Acarology 21: 1447-1449.          

Fan, Q.-H., Zhang, Z.-Q., Brown, R.L., France, S., Bennett, S. (2016). New Zealand Pneumolaelaps Berlese (Acari: Laelapidae): description of a new species, key to species and notes on biology. Systematic & Applied Acarology 21: 119–138.

Fletcher, J., Tang, J., Blouin, A., Ward, L.I., MacDiarmid, R., Ziebell, H. (2016). Red clover vein mosaic virus - a novel virus to New Zealand that is widespread in legumes. Plant Disease 100: 890-895.

Higgins, C.M., Chang, W.L., Khan, S., Tang, J., Elliott, C., Dietzgen, R.G. (2016). Diversity and evolutionary history of lettuce necrotic yellows virus in Australia and New Zealand. Archives of Virology 161: 269-277.

Hodgson, C.J., Gunawardana, D.N., Richmond, J.E. (2016).  A new species in the indigenous New Zealand soft scale insect genus Kalasiris Henderson & Hodgson (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Coccomorpha: Coccidae) on Gahnia setifolia (Cyperaceae). Zootaxa 4092: 122–128.

Lebas, B.S.M., Veerakone, S., Liefting, L.W., Tang, J., Perez-Egusquiza, Z., von Bargen, S., Ward, L.I. (2016). Comparison of diagnostic techniques for the detection and differentiation of cherry leaf roll virus strains for quarantine purposes. Journal of Virological Methods 234: 142-151.

Li, D., Waite, D., Gunawardana, D.N. (2016). Real-time PCR detection of Bactrocera tryoni complex. The Australian Handbook for the identification of fruit flies (Version 2.0.).

Ma, M., Fan, Q.-H., Li, S.C. (2016). Typhlodromus Scheuten (Acari: Phytoseiidae) from Shanxi province of China. Systematic and Applied Acarology 21: 1614-1630.

Tang, J., Veerakone, S., Ward, L.I. (2016). First report of Tradescantia mild mosaic virus in Tradescantia spp. in New Zealand Plant disease 100: 1032.

Toome-Heller, M. (2016). Latest developments in the research of rust fungi and their allies (Pucciniomycotina). In: Li, D-W (Ed.) Biology of Microfungi, Fungal Biology. Springer International Publishing Switzerland, pp 147-168.

Shivas, R.G., Tan, Y., Edwards, J., Dinh, Q., Maxwell, A., Andjic, V., Liberato, J. R., Anderson, C., Beasley, D.R., Bransgrove, K., Coates, L.M., Cowan, K., Daniel, R., Dean, J.R., Lomavatu, M. F., Mercado-Escueta, D., Mitchell, R.W., Thangavel, R., Tran-Nguyen, L.T.T., Weir, B.S. (2016). Colletotrichum species in Australia. Australasian Plant Pathology 45: 447-464.

Sooda, A., Gunawardana, D., Li, D., Kumarasinghe, L. (2016). Multiplex real-time PCR assay for the detection of 3 invasive leafminer species: Liriomyza huidobrensis, L. sativae and L. trifolii (Diptera: Agromyzidae). Austral Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/aen.12237. 

Spribille, T., Tuovinen, V., Resl, P., Vanderpool, D., Wolinski, H., Aime, M.C., Schneider, K., Stabentheiner, E., Toome-Heller, M., Thor, G., Mayrhofer, H., Johannesson, H., McCutcheon, J. (2016). Basidiomycete yeasts in the cortex of ascomycete macrolichens. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8287.

Visnovsky, S.B., Fiers, M., Lu, A., Panda, P., Taylor, R., Pitman, A.R. (2016). Draft genome sequences of 18 strains of Pseudomonas isolated from kiwifruit plants in New Zealand and overseas. Genome Announcements 4(2):e00061-16. doi:10.1128/genomeA.00061-16.

Waite, D.S., Griffin, R., Taylor, R., George, S. (2016). Rapid and accurate identification of Xanthomonas citri subspecies citri by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Letters in Applied Microbiology, doi: 10.1111/lam.12624.

Waite, D.W., Li, D., Dsouza, M., & Gunawardana, D. (2016). Development and validation of a real-time PCR assay for the glassy-winged sharpshooter Homalodisca vitripennis (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae). Bulletin of Entomological Research 2016: 1-8.

Wallace, M.S., Anderson, D., Dietz, L.L. (2016). Antianthe expansa (Germar): First treehopper (Hemiptera: Membracidae) recorded from Pacific Island nation of Niue. Proceedings of the Entomological Society of Washington 118: 650–653.

Ward, L.I, Immanuel, T.M., Khan, S., Liefting, L.W., Delmiglio, C. (2016). Conventional PCR. In chapter: Molecular Methods in Plant Disease Diagnostics, Principles and Protocols. Eds Neil Boonham, Jenny Tomlinson and Rick Mumford. CABI, 7-16.

Yamoah, E., Voice, D., Gunawardana, D., Chandler, B, Hammond, D. (2016). Eradication of Paropsisterna beata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) in semi urban suburb in NZ. Journal of Forestry Science, DOI: 10.1186/s40490-016-0061-3


Delmiglio, C., Fan, Q.H., George, S., Ward, L.I., Budge, G., Flynn, A., Kumarasinghe, L. (2015). Development and evaluation of a real-time PCR assay for the detection of Acarapis woodi (tracheal mites) in Apis mellifera. Apidologie DOI: 10.1007/s13592-015-0420-8.

Immanuel T., Delmiglio C., Ward L., Denton J., Clover, G. (2015) First reports of Grapevine virus A, Grapevine fleck virus, and Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 1 in the United Kingdom. Plant Disease 99(6): 898.

Immanuel T., Delmiglio C., Ward L., Denton J., Clover, G. (2015) Grapevine rupestris stem pitting-associated virus detected in Vitis vinifera in the United Kingdom. New Disease Reports 31:10.

Khan, S., Mackay, J., Liefting, L., Ward, L.I. (2015). Development of a duplex one-step RT-qPCR assay for the simultaneous detection of Apple scar skin viroid and plant RNA internal control. Journal of Virological Methods 221: 100-105.

Li, D., Fan, Q.-H., Waite, D. W., Gunawardana, D., George, S., Kumarasinghe, L. (2015). Development and validation of a real-time PCR assay for rapid detection of two-spotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae). PLoS One 10(7): e0131887.

Tang, J., Iqram, A., Elliott, C., Ward, L.I. (2015). Identification of Eggplant mottled dwarf virus in PEQ Hibiscus syriacus plants imported from Australia. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 10: 6.

Tang, J., Lebas, B., Liefting, L., Veerakone, S., Wei, T., Ward, L.I. (2015) Opium poppy mosaic virus, a new umbravirus isolated from Papaver somniferum in New Zealand . Archives of Virology 161:197-201.

Toome, M., Pearson, H.G., and Alexander, B.J.R. (2015). First report of Euoidium longipes, a new powdery mildew fungus on tamarillo (Solanum tuberosum) in New Zealand. Plant disease 99(12): 1863.

Veerakone, S., Tang, J.Z., Ward, L.I., Liefting, L.W., Perez-Egusquiza, Z., Lebas, S.M., Delmiglio, C., Fletcher, J.D., Guy, P.L. (2015). A review of the plant virus, viroid, liberibacter and phytoplasma records for New Zealand. Australasian Plant Pathology 44: 463-5143.

Zheng, L., Tang, J., Clover, G.R.G., Spackman, M.E., Freeman, A.J., Rodoni, B.C. (2015). Novel genus-specific broad range primers for the detection offuroviruses, hordeiviruses and rymoviruses and their application infield surveys in South-East Australia. Journal of Virological Methods 214: 1-9.


Davis, R.I., Taylor, R.K., Rouse, D., Flack, M., Hailstones, D., Jones, L.M., Rossel, J.B., Fanai, C., Tsatsia, F.T., and Tsatsia, H. (2014). First record of citrus canker, caused by Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri in the Solomon Islands. Australasian Plant Disease Notes .

Perez-Egusquiza, Z., Tang, J.Z., Ward, L.I., Fletcher, J.D. (2014). The truth about Pea mild mosaic virus. Australasian Plant Pathology 43: 193-196.

Perez-Egusquiza, Z., Ward, L.I., Clover, G.R.G. (2014). Detection of a new ilarvirus infecting wild radish in New Zealand. Australasian Plant Disease Notes 9: 133.

Pilotti, C.A., Dewhurst, C.F., Liefting, L.W., Kuniata, L., Kakul, T. (2014). Putative vectors of a phytoplasma associated with coconut (Cocos nucifera) in Madang Province, Papua New Guinea. International Journal of Agriculture and Forestry 4: 365-372.

Pilotti, C.A., Saul, J., Liefting, L.W., Kembu, A., and Kokoa, P. (2014). Occurrence of a phytoplasma associated with bogia coconut syndrome in Papua New Guinea. Agricultural Science 26: 32-40.

Tang, J., Khan, S., Delmiglio, C., Ward, L.I. (2014). Sensitive detection of Tomato ringspot virus by real-time TaqMan RT-PCR targeting the highly conserved 3′-UTR region. Journal of Virological Methods 201: 38-43.

Taylor, R.K., Chapman, J.R., Romberg, M. K., Weir, B.S., Vanneste, J.L., Everett, K.R., Ward, L.I., Liefting, L. W., Lebas, B.S.M., Alexander, B.J.R. (2014). Diagnostic challenges for the detection of emerging pathogens: a case study involving the incursion of Pseudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae in New Zealand. In: Plant Pathology in the 21st Century 5 “Detection and Diagnostics of Plant Pathogens”, pp 71-86.

Tyson, J.L., Taylor R.K., Curtis, C.L., Manning, M.A. (2014). A pre-harvest rot of persimmon fruit caused by Phytophthora cactorum in New Zealand. Australasian Plant Disease Notes .

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