March 2022

Post Information

Author: David

Post Date: March 31, 2022


Quarterly Update
Featured Image Courtesy: Kauri Grove" by Seamoor is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0.

Reassessing the health of treated Kauri

The Kauri Rescue™ team is working with many of our participant landowners to collect this year’s monitoring data on the health of the trees we have treated as part of the project over the last 5 years. It’s a race against the weather to get as many trees reassessed as possible before winter sets in.

In order for us to learn as much as possible about the effectiveness of the phosphite treatment over time it is essential for us to collect data on the health status of the treated trees on a long term and regular basis. We will be analysing the data collected over winter and reporting back to the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge with our findings by the end of June.

Many thanks to all our landowners who have been working hard to collect these data for us and also to our Ambassador Guenter Niersbach who has been helping the team work on many of these properties.

Supporting citizen scientists to protect their Kauri

The Kauri Rescue team have trained and supported many landowners this summer to treat and monitor the health of their kauri trees.


Armadeep (above) and her husband Das have lost one of their large kauri trees already and were extremely worried about the rest, so they were delighted to be able to take positive action to help support their health.

Brother and sister Zane and Zarena (above) are enthusiastic about looking after the kauri on their mother’s large historic property in Titirangi for future generations.

Supporting the latest science research

The Kauri Rescue team are working with PhD students from Auckland University and Lincoln University to enable them to do their fieldwork with the help of some of our participant landowners who have kindly allowed access to their properties to do this work.

Shannon Hunter with her supervisor Dr Bruce Burns from the University of Auckland out in the field on a Kauri Rescue property

The two projects we are supporting are looking at different aspects of how Phytophthora communities behave in the soil around kauri and what affects them. Shannon Hunter from Auckland University and Plant and Food Research is studying the impact of phosphite treatment of kauri trees on Phytophthora communities in the soil. Alexa Byers from Lincoln University is studying antagonistic microbes that may control Phytophthora in the soil. Both these projects are highly relevant to the future management of kauri dieback disease and we are extremely grateful to our landowners for generously offering access to their properties for these projects.

Phytophthora agathidicida genome reboot

A team at Massey University has built the first chromosome-level Phytophthora genome assembly in the world. The species whose genome they assembled is Phytophthora agathidicida, the pathogen that causes kauri dieback. Having this assembly may be a game-changer for the fight against kauri dieback. Knowing a pathogen’s genome gives researchers insight into how the pathogen operates and what can be done to stop it. For evidence of how a genome can be used in applications, look no further than COVID-19: by knowing this pathogen’s genome, researchers have developed a suite of vaccines and used changes in the disease’s genetic material to trace the origin of outbreaks and the evolution of new variants. You can read the full story about this exciting research here.