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The Passion Vine

The Passion Vine – December 2014

Post Office Box 321 Pomona QLD 4568

Executive Report By Jann Bonsall The final quarter of 2014 is coming to a close but I hear there isn’t going to be much of a break for passionfruit growers! There hadn’t been much fruit on the market up until the beginning of December but it’s on now and looks like continuing until well into January. Passionfruit has had some excellent grand appearances on the covers of Gourmet Traveller and Feast (SBS) in December and the ABC are promoting passionfruit in the January/February edition of Organic Gardener… and this is all unprompted! The full outline of the industry’s summer program provided by Elisa King from HIA Ltd (formerly HAL) is on pages 10 and 11.

You should have noticed that Passion Vine is wearing a new badge signifying the new horticulture industry services body, Horticulture Innovation Limited. The new HIA Ltd was announced by the Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce on October 6th but the Statutory Funding Agreement for 20142018 was not finalised until late on November 24th. There is a copy of the media release by HIA Ltd on 25th November on page 6 Information regarding eligibility and how to become a member of HIA Ltd is outlined in their Constitution on the HIA Ltd web site. On page 13 of the Constitution there is reference to application for membership being supplied in a certain form and containing information prescribed by the Company. The final Register is not expected to be finalised until the second half of 2015 so PAI will provide you with the relevant information as soon as it is made available. I can supply you with those details if you can’t access the web site, so just give me a call. PAI’s President Ian Constable and I are attending the final HAL AGM on November 18th. There will be a report on all the

Newsletter of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated

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December 2014 outcomes sent via email in the following week as unfortunately Passion Vine will be at the printers making sure it is in your mailbox prior to Christmas. The new PAI Executive has elected a new Breeding Sub Committee (BSC) with all regions represented and is chaired by Tim Johnson. The BSC and the Executive met with Professor Graham King from Southern Cross University on the 22nd October at which the Professor outlined a program to provide the passionfruit industry with a DNA fingerprint toolkit. The outline of that project is on page 8. This edition of Passion Vine sees the final chapter of R&D Projects history up to November 2012 from page 12. This history is a “living” document so there will be more information added to the file annually. Cherie Gambley and her project team have provided us with the latest milestone report for the Overcoming viruses project (pages 7 and 8). Cherie’s team will lodge their final report for this project at the end of February 2015. It was agreed at the last Passionfruit IAC meeting in August that there would be a roundtable workshop conducted at Eco Science Precinct in Brisbane on February 3 rd 2015 to discuss the direction of the breeding and virus program for the passionfruit industry in coming (Continued on page 4)

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Passionfruit Australia Incorporated Executive Committee President

Vice President

Ian Constable "Nunderry" 260 Boyds Lane Dulguigan via Murwillumbah NSW 2484 P: 02 6672 6826 M: 0428 181 246 F: 02 6672 6826 E:

Tina McPherson 15 Zinks Road Bundaberg QLD 4670 P: 07 4159 3001 M: 0428 415 930 F: 07 4155 6744 E:

President Vine Committee


Jim Gordon PO Box 119 Yandina QLD 4561 P: 07 5446 7536 M: 0403 185 961 F: 07 5446 7524 E:

Peter Griffiths 408 Dahl's Road Calavos QLD 4670 T/F: 07 4159 7394 M: 0429 656 922 E:



William Wise 131 Cranneys Rd North Tumbulgum NSW 2490 P: 02 66766099 M: 0435 113 243 E:

Sean Russell (JE Tippers) PO Box 27, Brisbane Markets QLD 4006 P: 07 3379 1041 M: 0418 158 331 F: 07 3379 4817 E:



Tom Carey “Wilgra” Terania Creek Road The Channon NSW 2484 P: 02 6688 6510 M: 0407 710 009 E:

Nick Hornery N & N Hornery 73 Watsons Lane Newrybar NSW 2479 P: 02 6687 1405 F: 02 6687 1830 M: 0432 183 085 E:


Executive Officer (Secretary / Treasurer )

Tim Johnson 720 Clothiers Creek Rd Murwillumbah NSW 2484 P: 02 6677 7192 M: 0402 128 516 E:

Jann Bonsall PO Box 321 Pomona QLD 4568 P: 07 5485 4402 E:

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PAI Licensed Nurseries Birdwood Nursery 71 Blackall Range Road Nambour QLD 4560 P: 07 5442 1611 J & V McLeod Campbell’s Road Dungay NSW 2484 P: 02 6672 3503 Widebay Passionvine Nursery 408 Dahls Road Calavos via Bundaberg Q 4670 P: 07 4159 7394

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PAI FEES New Grower or Processor Membership fee : $187 incl GST, joining fee and lobby fees Grower or Processor Membership renewal : $143 incl GST and lobby fees. Other classes (Nurseryman, seller, agent or associate) : $187 incl GST and lobby fees. Memberships run with the Fiscal year from July 1st to June 30th each year irrespective of date joined. Membership lapses if not renewed within three months of end of the fiscal year. Plant Royalties are due on propagation or purchase of all PAI varieties Fees are payable to PAI executive officer : $0.35 per plant for PAI members, otherwise $0.70 for all non-members.

Bank account details Passionfruit Australia Incorporated BSB: 124-101 Acc No.: 21655088

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Regional Roundup From the growers...

Wide Bay By Peter Griffiths Hello everyone. In the Bundaberg region we received about 80mm of rain in mid- November which was the first substantial rain since mid – March. Most farms have finished planting now and are busy training the new vines. Some of our farms enjoyed the last few weeks of the good prices courtesy of a warm winter and no rain. Now we have to hope that the prices remain reasonable over the Christmas period so we can all be joyous. That’s all until next time.

NNSW Area By Ian Constable Hello everyone. The big dry spell keeps on going in our area. Lots of strong winds as well which has been hard on the young vines. Showers and storms have been

very hit and miss but it must rain soon. 2014 will go down in the record books as one of the driest on record! I would like to thank everyone on the Executive for their efforts this year. My wife Linda, for all her help with the emails. Both teams at HAL & DAFF for their support and assistance. Jann has done a great job again under difficult circumstances. Jenny at the Passion Vine and all our Sub Committee members – MANY THANKS. To everyone involved in the passionfruit industry I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year. Enjoy the festive season. Cheers Ian

SE Queensland By Jim Gordon The 1st of December and summer has officially started and so has

all the work. We’ve finally had a little rain and the fruit has started and so have the grass and weeds, tying and trimming. (Don’t you love this time of year?) We finally have all our plants in. Both growers and nurseries have had a struggle this year with a cool early spring followed by extreme heat and dry. The only good thing about the dry is that we have had little disease and pest problems so far. There appears to be a reasonable crop on both Misty Gems and Sweethearts but the early fruit has been fairly small. Most growers are sending fruit in our area and hopefully we’ll send our first full pallet this week. It looks as if we will be quite busy up to and beyond Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, Jill and I hope you all have a wonderful festive season and a prosperous New Year. Let’s all ask Santa for a cool, cloudy Christmas Day.


(Continued from page 1) years that will be in line with the Strategic Plan. The outcomes of that meeting will be reported in the next edition of Passion Vine. There is also a report on the outcomes of the Assessment of the nutritional profile and fruit quality of irradiated passionfruit conducted by Andrew Jessup and John Golding from NSW DPI (page 16). The outcomes of this project are in the process of being written up for submission to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to request the addition of passionfruit under Standard 1.5.3, Irradiation of

Food. Foods that have applied to FSANZ and been approved to date are Bread fruit, Capsicum, Carambola, Custard apple, Litchi, (lychee) Longan, Mango, Mangosteen, Papaya (Paw paw), Persimmon, Rambutan and Tomato. The intent of this project was to give the passionfruit industry the ability to continue its application to OMAH for access to the New Zealand market into the future. And there could be more, but I think that this should keep you busy for a few hours. The horticultural industry is, as always, very active. In the past quarter PAI has been a signatory

to an industry submission to a Senate Inquiry into Industry Structures and Systems which related directly to horticultural levies under the umbrella of Voice of Horticulture (formerly Horticulture TaskForce). The PAI Executive has also agreed to support Voice of Horticulture’s continued representation of horticulture at the Fair Work Award Review. There will be more of this in March’s edition of Passion Vine and any major updates will be sent directly via email as they come to hand. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year!

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Fresh Start for Australian Horticulture Growers Media Release 25 November 2014 The Australian horticulture sector is heading in a new direction following the Minister for Agriculture’s declaration of Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) Limited as the new industry services body for horticulture. HIA Chairman Selwyn Snell said it was an exciting time for Australian horticulture growers, and that he was looking forward to working with them towards a more sustainable and profitable future for the sector. “I am delighted that HIA’s Statutory Funding Agreement and Constitution have been finalised and Parliament has made the official declaration of HIA as the Industry Services Body,” Mr Snell said. “This declaration represents the first major step forward for the new company. “HIA will work in partnership with Australia’s horticulture industries to invest more than $100 million in research, development and marketing programs that provide benefit to industry and the wider community. Through this

partnership, the horticulture sector can access Commonwealth funding through HIA for research and development activities.” According to HIA CEO John Lloyd, HIA is now in a position to begin establishing a robust membership base that is representative of the full spectrum of Australian horticulture industries across all growing regions. “With HIA being a growerowned company, establishing a grower registry to communicate to our members is a key priority moving forward,” Mr Lloyd said. “There are many benefits in becoming a member, including the opportunity for growers to have a say in the leadership and future direction of Australia’s new horticulture RDC. “Members will also be invited to attend information forums, field days and workshops held around the country.”

The new HIA Board of Directors, which was announced by the Minister for Agriculture in October, will meet in early December to begin setting the strategy for the new RDC.

Further information John Lloyd, Chief Executive Officer Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited Tel. +61 2 8295 2321 Background HIA was established following the acceptance of the recommendations of an independent review of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL) in 2014 to transition to a grower-owned entity. The financial and other assets of HAL were transferred to HIA under the Horticulture Marketing and Research and Development Services (Transfer of Industry Assets and Liabilities) Regulation 2014.

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PF11004 Overcoming Passionfruit Viruses Cherie Gambley (Leader), Kathy Parmenter, John Thomas, Jan Dean & Andrew Manners Five backcross F1 virus resistant lines (BCF1-1, -17, -21, -39 and 48) lines were established in a screen house at Redlands Research Station in November 2012. These backcross lines were generated from crossing C18V9, the F1 of a ‘Heuston” x P. incarnate (Project PF07001), with ‘DPI’ rootstock. The original C18V9 line showed resistance to the three potyviruses (Passionfruit woodiness virus, PWV; Clover yellow vein virus, CIYVV and Passiflora virus Y, PaVY) and the ‘DPI’ rootstock is known to carry resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp passiflorae (Fop) and phytophthora. All five BCF1 lines were used in attempted crosses to Sweetheart and Misty Gem to transfer virus, fusarium and phytophthora resistance into these industry standard scion lines. Seedlings obtained from this first round of crosses were evaluated for resistance to Fop. Self crosses of the DPI rootstock plants from Redlands Research Station were also included to evaluate their resistance to this fungus. Results obtained from the first round of crosses for fusarium resistance show promise for establishing this resistance as a fixed gene and thus producing a new rootstock line. In almost all crosses using Misty Gem or

Sweetheart as the male parent there was a high level of fusarium resistance observed using data combined from all individual crosses. However, although the data set provides a good guide, the number of individuals assessed per cross is too low to provide an accurate indication of the inheritance of this gene for the BCF1 lines, with the exception of BCF1-48. For BCF1-48 there appears to be a variation of between 25 and 100% in the inheritance of Fop resistance in progeny from individual crosses made to the same parent line. To further clarify this inheritance, more crosses are required to be evaluated. Self crosses of the DPI rootstock produced a high proportion of progeny (95%) with resistance to Fop. None of the seedlings thus far were evaluated for resistance to virus or phytophthora. Seedlings from second and third round crosses will be evaluated in separate experiments to these other pathogens. To assist with understanding inheritance of resistant genes in passionfruit, a number of different crosses were proposed. These include self crosses of all parent lines, including Misty Gem, Sweetheart, Pandora and DPI rootstock. As mentioned

previously, self crosses of BCF1 lines and their P. incarnate parent (C18V9, the F1 of a ‘Heuston’ x P. incarnarta) are not possible due to poor pollen generation and/or viability. A proportion of these crosses will be attempted in the current project and any further crosses completed in the proposed future project. Attempts to produce virus free passionfruit vines have continued. A third and final round of micrografting was completed and was more successful than previous attempts. This latest round of grafting produced three successful grafts, one ‘Misty Gem’ and two ‘Sweetheart’ plants. These plants show no virus symptoms and no virus infection was detected by electron microscopy. The plants are currently being tested with specific molecular assays to confirm their virus-free status. They are also being tested to verify the shoot material is scion and not an overgrowth of the P. edulis f. flavicarpa rootstock. Results from these experiments are expected by early July 2014. When large enough, these plants will be moved to the glasshouse, cuttings taken, and all plants kept in an aphid-free cage. Experiments using meristem tip culture as an alternative to micrografting to generate virusfree plants are underway with a commercial company. (Continued on page 8)

The Passion Vine – December 2014 (Continued from page 7)

Additional potential alternative hosts for PWV have been identified. Two legume weeds from an Atherton Tablelands

passionfruit farm were shown by ELISA testing to be positive for PWV. The genetic sequences of these isolates are currently being determined to verify the identity of the virus. Interestingly, PWV

Page 8 has recently been identified from the weed balloon cotton bush (Gomphocrpus physocarpus) growing remotely from passionfruit (M Sharman, pers. comm.).


Passionfruit Varietal Development - Establishing a DNA Fingerprint Toolkit Background PAI’s intent is to be a growing, profitable and united industry that is able to create and capitalise on market opportunities and manage risks appropriately. PAI includes passionfruit growers, propagators and generators of new cultivars who have invested in development of a number of new varieties of passionfruit, for which they initially aim to secure Plant Breeders Rights. As generators of new cultivars who have invested in development of a number of new varieties of passionfruit, PAI and its members are aiming to secure relevant Plant Breeders Rights. As an ongoing activity PAI also wish to develop and commercialise new passionfruit varieties for their distinctive fruit growing regions. This will help Australian growers to match and optimise production of varieties to specific growing conditions, to extend the production season, and extend

market reach. PAI wish to protect their unique varieties, for which they have or will apply for PBR which is based on unique characteristics, as outlined in UPOV guidelines. These are based on botanical attributes including those not associated with the fruit. Thus, there is a requirement to provide a capability for varietal identification and testing in the propagation and fruit market supply chain. DNA marker technologies provide a robust and cost-effective means of achieving such testing on suspect samples. Objectives In order to develop this capability, there is a need to establish a DNA fingerprinting platform as a toolkit for uniquely identifying passionfruit varieties, comprising:

 A set of validated and stable DNA markers, which are able to uniquely distinguish varieties of passionfruit.  A database of DNA marker profiles for existing marketed varieties.  Demonstrate that unique fingerprints can reproducibly be acquired for 20 test varieties, including up to four new varieties.  Demonstrate that the DNA test is able to be applied to fruit sold in the retail supply chain.  Baseline of DNA information that could be utilised for ongoing breeding and other R&D. Comment This project is in the process of approvals at time of writing. It will be funded directly by Passionfruit Australia and Southern Cross University. The project has an estimated duration of six months.

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Vine Trials By Jim Gordon, Chair of the Vine Committee Obviously it is too soon to do any assessment of this year’s trial plants. Every one of them though is growing well so that is a good start. The Ross x Lacey and Ross x Sweetheart are particularly vigorous. Thanks to Peter and Sally Griffiths for supplying such good quality plants. There are about ten crosses we are trialling so hopefully something will come of some of them.

and I’m sure with the help of Southern Cross Uni it is only a matter of time. As any results of trials become available they will be forwarded on to everyone.

From last year’s planting the No 12 have produced an early crop of reasonable quality fruit. We have quite a few of these on trial again this year so we should have a good idea of their value in the next twelve months. We are very hopeful of developing a new commercially viable variety 

For information regarding administration issues for Passionfruit Australia Incorporated please contact: Jann Bonsall, PO Box 321 Pomona QLD 4568

Ph: 07 5485 4402 Email: admin@ For variety and plantings issues please contact your local Executive Member as listed on page 2. Other enquiries can be made through Queensland DAFF on their call centre number 132523 All contributions concerning the industry are most welcome.

The Passion Vine is edited by Jann Bonsall and Jenny Drew The advice and opinions in the articles published in The Passion Vine are essentially those of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated or the Editor. The advice given is at the readers own risk, and no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of the material presented. Inclusion of an advertisement in this publication does not necessarily imply endorsement of the product, company or service by Passionfruit Australia Incorporated or the Editor.

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The Last Twenty Years of Passionfruit Research, Development and Extension Projects By Peter Rigden (Development Horticulturalist) and Dr Cherie Gambley (Senior Plant Pathologist), Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry Queensland. During the January 2014 Industry Advisory Committee meeting it was suggested that more could be done to make growers aware of the contribution research, development and extension projects funded by levies have

made to the industry. This is the final article, in a series of three, which summarises the aims and outcomes of the passionfruit research, development and extension projects conducted

over the last 20 years. This information is taken from the published project Final Reports. Full details of each project are available in these reports which can be obtained through PAI.

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PF12006 - Assessment of the Nutritional Profile and Fruit Quality of Irradiated Passionfruit By Andrew Jessup and John Golding NSW DPI The long-term profitability of the Australian passionfruit industry will rely on supplying quality fruit to existing domestic and export markets and accessing new overseas markets. Increasing quantities of fruit and restrictions to market access necessitate finding new ways to access these markets. Irradiation is a technologically proven, viable and scientifically sound disinfestation treatment against a range of quarantine pests. Moreover, irradiation is increasingly becoming an approved and agreed application in world trade of food and horticultural products. The Australian food regulator, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) has granted food safety approval for irradiation (at 1501000Gy) as a technique for insect pest disinfestation for fresh tropical fruits such as custard apple, litchi, longan, mango, papaya and rambutan. Technical Summary Irradiation is a safe, reliable phytosanitary method for market access. If the use of irradiation is to be expanded to include passionfruit, then the passionfruit industry must apply to FSANZ for changes in the Food Standards code. A critical requirement in a submission to FSANZ is the provision of vitamin C profiles for

irradiated passionfruit. This report documents the effects of 0, 150, 400 and 1000 Gy gamma irradiation on the vitamin C profile of passionfruit and the treatment impacts on fruit quality during storage. Passionfruit (cultivar ‘Sweetheart’) were subject to gamma irradiation (0, 150, 400 and 1000Gy) at the Gamma Technology Research Irradiator at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation in Sydney. After treatment, the fruit were stored at 8°C for up to fourteen days before assessment of fruit quality and vitamin C content. The overall quality of the fruit over the entire trial was good. Irradiation at any dose (≤ 1000 Gy) did not affect passionfruit quality (overall fruit quality, colour, firmness, fruit shrivel, stem condition, weight loss, total soluble solids (TSS), titratable acidity (TA) levels, TSS/TA ratio, juice pH and rot development), with longer storage periods resulting in lower quality fruit, whether the fruit had been irradiated or not. There was no interaction between irradiation treatment and storage time, indicating that irradiation did not affect these storage effects on passionfruit quality. The results of this trial have clearly shown that the

application of 150, 400 and 1000 Gy gamma irradiation to Australian passionfruit did not result in any deleterious effects on fruit quality or vitamin C content during storage. These results support the application of gamma irradiation of ≤ 1000 Gy as a phytosanitary measure and should be considered by industry as a market access technology for Australian passionfruit. This project was funded by the passionfruit levy facilitated by HAL in partnership with PA Inc. The Australian Government provides matched funding for all HAL's research and development activities. NSW Department of Primary Industries provided ongoing support and significantly contributed to the outcomes of this project

Above : Preparing passionfruit for fruit quality assessments at NSW Department of Primary Industries.

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Win One of Five $50 Wish Gift Cards - Just Complete and Return your Production Survey Growers who complete their Australian Passionfruit Industry Production Survey 2013/14 which was recently posted will go in the draw to win one of five $50 Wish Gift Cards. Thank you to all of those growers who have already completed and returned your surveys – your names are already in the hat! Passionfruit Australia is working with Horticulture Innovation Australia (previously Horticulture Australia) and P2P Business Solutions to undertake a survey of all passionfruit growers in an attempt to develop a more concise picture of the industry and its performance. The reason this is being done is to:  Assist growers in making decision about plantings, supply and marketing their crop  Inform decisions that are

made about investment in R&D and industry support To have credible information about the size and reach of the industry to inform other industry stakeholders.

It is therefore important that we have as many growers as possible providing information about their production, hence your contribution is very important.

aggregated industry data will be reported. Those that contribute data will receive a copy of the industry report once the survey is completed and data is aggregated. P2P is a specialist consultancy business that has worked with many of the horticultural industries, including avocados, macadamias and citrus development.

As part of this project, information is also being sought from wholesalers to develop a better understanding of the market’s supply and quality issues. This will also potentially assist in informing future investment in R&D and marketing.

If you have any questions about this survey e.g. filling in the data, how the results will be used, confidentiality issues etc, or need another copy of the survey please phone Jenny Margetts (P2P Business Solutions) on 0418 215276 or, to collect, collate and report industry data and assist with supply chain

All business production data collected will be treated with the strictest confidentiality; only

or Jann Bonsall (Passionfruit Australia) on 07 5485 4402 or


Letters to the Editor Don’t forget to send your letters to the Editor to or post to PO Box 321, Pomona, Qld 4568

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The Passion Vine December 2014  
The Passion Vine December 2014