Hunt for pasture dieback answers continues

Hunt for pasture dieback answers continues

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The fight to find a cause and then a cure for pasture dieback is continuing, with Gatton-based researchers hoping to find out more about how the presence of ground pearls may be connected to the phenomenon.

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Researcher Shane Campbell collecting a soil sample.

Researcher Shane Campbell collecting a soil sample.

The fight to find a cause and then a cure for pasture dieback is continuing, with Gatton-based researchers hoping to find out more about how the presence of ground pearls may be connected to the phenomenon.

UQ researcher Anthony Young said glasshouse experiments involving the ground pearl would be conducted on the Gatton campus this year, with Meat & Livestock Australia providing funding to help the research.

"We'll be doing them in a controlled environment and seeing if we can get them to attach to the plants or not and how they might affect them," Dr Young said.

"We're also working on sequencing the DNA of the white ground pearl."

Dr Young said they had been working with partners including the NSW DPI and Queensland University of Technology to do plenty of field visits, finding ground pearls at some sites and mealybugs at others.

"We're definitely looking for more sites, particularly in the central Queensland region," he said.

Melody Thomson preparing to map a pasture dieback site using a Phantom drone.

Melody Thomson preparing to map a pasture dieback site using a Phantom drone.

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