Soilborne diseases are a major limiting factor for the Australian vegetable industry and are costly and difficult to manage. Previous research has highlighted that practical and economic methods of disease control are limited once a crop has been established. Knowing the disease risk prior to planting allows growers to make informed crop management decisions.

The SARDI Molecular Diagnostic Centre has developed PREDICTA®, a DNA-based soil testing technology that can accurately quantify the level of DNA of specific disease causing pathogens in a
sample of soil. The testing service allows growers to identify which soilborne pathogens pose a significant risk to their crops so steps can be taken to minimise production losses.

The current suite of tests available for vegetable growers is most suited to use in brassica, carrot, capsicum, sweet potato and onion production. While testing can support other vegetable crops, the applications can be more limited and is dependent on the diseases present in the soil. The SARDI Molecular Diagnostic Centre support team is available to answer any questions on the application and potential of testing.